Watchfinder’s bid to attract investment for expansion has paid off to the tune of $10million US after two investment funds signed up to support the fast-growing, UK market leading pre-owned watch specialist.
Piton Capital, the specialist marketplace investor, and Beringea, the growth capital investor managing the ProVen Venture Capital Trusts, have both invested half of the $10 million (£6.18 million) into Watchfinder.
Karen McCormick, partner and investment director at Beringea, said: “Watchfinder has become the most trusted retailer for authentic, pre-owned luxury timepieces in the UK, and is uniquely able to offer manufacturer-quality servicing to back up their warranty.”
Greg Lockwood, of Piton, added: “Over the past 12 years, Watchfinder has really figured out how to make the secondary market for fine watches work, and this is reflected in their outstanding track record of growth and profitability. We’re excited to partner with this strong and well-respected company.”
The investment will be used to increase the company’s stock inventory of pre-owned luxury watches, roll out a multi-media marketing campaign through TV, print and radio as well as fund the company’s watch servicing centre in Maidstone, Kent.
Stuart Hennell, founder and CEO of Watchfinder, commented: “We at Watchfinder are very proud of the business we’ve created over the past decade, and the level of trust we’ve earned from our customers. After considering a number of strategic options for the future, we are delighted to be taking on investment from Beringea and Piton, with whom we have a shared vision for the future. Their combined expertise in ecommerce, retail, and international markets should be a great asset”.
Since launching in 2002, Watchfinder has sold more than £120million worth of pre-owned luxury watches through its website and boutique in London’s Royal Exchange. This year Watchfinder introduced a strategy of offering ‘complementary new’ watches from SevenFriday and Ressence to support its core pre-owned business.
Watchfinder is now looking to open a second London store in Mayfair before opening one in the north of England. The company also hopes to open a European store in the future with Paris currently the favourite potential location.