‘Universal shopping cart’ fashion site Lyst raises $14m

Start-up allows users to create personal store based on their favourite brands

A fashion e-commerce site that allows its users to create their own online store based on their favourite brands has raised $14m investment, led by Balderton Capital Partners.

Founded in 2010, Lyst partners with brands and retailers to allow users to create their own ‘bespoke shopping experiences’ by following their favourite brands online, following which they can buy products directly through the Lyst website.

Since launch the site has seen significant growth, growing by 400% over the course of 2012 and a further 400% in 2013. It now has more than two million users.

London and New York-based Lyst now claims to generate more than $6m annually in sales for brands on its portfolio, which include leading names such as Saks, Burberry, Net-A-Porter, J. Crew, Lane Crawford and Balenciaga.

The Balderton-led investment shows the level of backers’ faith in the company’s continued potential and will see Lyst put further plans in place for international growth, expanding its staff in both London and New York.

Other investors in the round included Accel Partners and DFJ Esprit, both of which have a strong track record in developing fast-growing tech firms, having invested in companies including Skype, Hotmail and Facebook in the past.

Chris Morton, co-founder and CEO of Lyst, said in a statement: “2013 was an amazing year for us, particularly as we launched fashion’s first universal shopping cart, which is revolutionising the space by enabling shoppers to check out from multiple brands and stores in a single step on site.

Building a website for your business idea is easier than you might think. Our online tool ranks the top website builders that offer free trials.

“We’re excited to have such a stellar group of European investors – DFJ Esprit, Accel and Balderton – with strong US ties to help take Lyst to the next level.”

Balderton Partners has a previous fashion e-commerce success story on its record, having been an early investor in fashion technology company YOOX in 2003. YOOX has since grown to become one of a select few companies in the sector to exceed $2bn market capitalisation.

As part of the deal, Balderton partner Mark Evans will join the Lyst board of directors. Evans commented: “We love to invest in European companies that have the potential to disrupt and grow in large global markets – something that Lyst is doing by allowing customers everywhere to build their own fashion stores stocked with the favourite brands from multiple retailers.

“Their customer value proposition as fashion technology innovators has allowed Lyst to work closely with fashion brands and online fashion retailers globally, which has been the key to the company’s extraordinary growth story since launch three years ago, which continues to accelerate.

“We are excited to be with Chris, Seb and the team at Lyst at an important stage in the company’s development.”


(will not be published)