Atterley, the online marketplace for premium fashion boutiques, has landed a multi-million pound funding deal from London and Hong Kong-based fashion design and manufacturing business PDS Multinational.
Entrepreneur Mike Welch, who bought the assets of the former online brand Atterley in 2016 and relaunched it as a marketplace, said he was not ruling out a float as a potential long term goal for the business having witnessed the value achieved by global luxury marketplace Farfech when it carried out its multi-billion pound float on the New York Stock Exchange last month.
“We are not going down the road of what I would describe as ‘spraying and praying’ with investors’ money, but we we will be learning from those who have gone before and fully expect to prove our model in financial terms sooner rather than later. If there is a value precedent being set in the market then we wouldn’t rule out a float of our own, all options remain open to us and we own enough of our equity to determine our destiny,” Welch said.
Since acquiring the assets of Atterley from administrator KPMG at the start of 2016, Welch has gone about quickly relaunching the business under the new model and now represents more than 100 boutiques in 60 countries. The business also recently introduced menswear. In terms of price-point of the product sold, it sits just beneath Farfetch offering more contemporary and premium brands, as opposed to high-end luxury.
Welch said he had been looking for an investor for a while for the past six months and said that PDS was a good strategic fit. The business manages international supply chains and produces approximately one million garments a day for 200 major brands and retailers worldwide, including Topshop, Zara, Jack Wills and Urban Outfitters.
PDS Founder and CEO Pallak Seth said of the deal: “This is a natural move for PDS as online becomes an increasingly important channel for our industry in providing insights into customer tastes and trends.
“It is important that PDS is able to develop insights from data and first-hand experience in online business will ensure we remain at the cutting edge of fashion and are able to provide market intelligence to our retail customers.”
Welch made his name setting up online tyre retailer Blackcircles, which he sold to Michelin for £50m in 2015.