Made.com buys Startups 100 2020 winner Trouva

Trouva took the top spot in our prestigious Startups 100 campaign in 2020 and has gone from strength to strength, before being acquired by Made.com earlier this month.

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When we say the Startups 100 is a coveted and illustrious campaign featuring some of the UK’s most exciting and thriving startups, we aren’t kidding.

From Monzo to Deliveroo, we’ve always had a sixth sense when it comes to identifying innovative, disruptive businesses that are brimming with potential, and things are no different with 2020’s winner Trouva.

Since its inception back in 2015, the company's ingenious tech platform has provided a home to over 700 hundred independent boutiques around the world, particularly in the homeware sector.

But after many achievements and huge growth over the last seven years, its acquisition by Made.com sparks a new chapter for the Startups 100 2020 winner – one full of excitement and opportunity.

Why Made decided to buy out Trouva

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Made.com’s decision to acquire Trouva is an incredibly clever bit of business.

The Startups 2020 winner’s online sales platform has done wonders for the independent boutique industry over the last few years, and fully deserved its Startup of the year crown having raised over $36m in funding and attracting on average 1.5m unique site visitors per month.

But, like all startups, there is a proverbial ceiling it hit, and despite Trouva enabling over 70% of independent boutiques to continue trading while physical stores had been forced to shut as a result of the COVID pandemic, it has struggled to scale.

Its increased popularity has brought with it growth challenges, and after reporting losses over the last two years, the decision was made to sell the company.

Online furniture retailer Made.com has been aiming to expand audience reach and sure up its strategic priorities, and the acquisition of Trouva was seen as the ideal way to do this.

Along with its expansion in the online retail marketplace that will help combat losses of around £32m before tax last year, Made.com will also have access to Trouva’s overseas selling technology and distribution capabilities, in the form of dropshipping functionalities and carrier integration.

Speaking about the deal, Made CEO Nicola Thompson said:

“This acquisition will allow us to significantly accelerate our growth strategy by expanding our curated product range – giving our customers more choice and newness – and scaling the business in key territories both established and targeted by leveraging Trouva’s exceptional cross-border technology.”

Concerned about how to prevent a hostile acquisition? Get advice and guidance from takeover experts in our feature on how to protect your small business from a takeover.

Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website.

Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Conde Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism.

Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.

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