Moda Operandi, the luxury online business that allows customers to buy directly from catwalk, has announced the completion of $165m in growth capital to “fuel continued international growth and increased development across several key business verticals”.
The new round was co-led by Adrian Cheng (through his investment vehicles – C Ventures and K11 Investment), whose family businesses include Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, New World Development, Rosewood Hotel & Resorts and K11; and Apax Digital, a new growth capital fund advised by the global private equity firm Apax Partners. Existing investors include New Enterprise Associates, LVMH and Fidelity, among others.
Moda Operandi said the latest round of funding would support the acceleration of its international business with particular focus in key markets including Asia and the Middle East. Since its last round of funding in 2014, the business has increased by more than three and a half times, with international markets now representing more than one-third of its business.
The new funds will be used for key categories expansion and the launch of new businesses and also to accelerate improvements in mobile technology, advancements in customisation, personalisation, and internationalisation. Finally it will support Moda Operandi’s strategies across marketing, customer acquisition programmes as well as helping to further develop the existing brand portfolio and expand new brand relationships.
“Moda Operandi is the only multi brand e-commerce site where the shopping experience is dedicated to elevating the brand’s digital presence. Our continued success demonstrates the strength of our business, and gives new and existing investors the confidence in our capacity to pursue tremendous global growth.
We look forward to continuing the momentum behind the transformation of the online luxury experience for our global clients. Through the leadership of the Moda team, and the bench strength of our existing investors coupled with the new partnership of Adrian Cheng and Apax Digital, we are defining the future of luxury ecommerce,” said CEO Deborah Nicodemus.
Cheng, co-founder of C Ventures and founder of K11 Investment, said he was “hugely excited about Moda Operandi” as an investment prospect. “Its business model is cutting edge, with a curated customer experience that has a lot of potential within C Ventures’ and K11 Investment’s networks of brands, which collides the worlds of fashion, creative media and art to service millennial consumer interests in the global market. I’m looking forward to seeing how the brand grows and taps into this big business opportunity,” he said.
Dan O’Keefe, managing partner of the Apax Digital team, added: “We are delighted to partner with Moda to help accelerate this next phase of its growth. We have been so impressed with the power of Moda’s brand and its positioning in the luxury market. Our partnership further confirms our commitment to growth within the luxury digital arena. We believe our unique operating capabilities and global platform can help drive the business even further and accelerate its international presence.”
Moda Operandi was founded in 2011 and prior to this latest funding round had raised more than $132m. It claims to be the only place that allows shoppers to pre-order looks straight from the unedited runway collections of the world’s top designers months before they are available anywhere else. Its Boutique also offers a curated selection of in-season items from both established and emerging designers, which are ready for immediate shipping.
Apax Partners recently acquired a majority stake in UK-based luxury multichannel retailer Matchesfashion.com in a deal which was believed to have valued the business at £800m.