Online furniture retailer WorldStores Ltd has raised £25 million in a funding round led by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, the parties have announced.
The money will be put towards developing an in-house fulfilment fleet. It is hoped this will enable next-day delivery for large furniture items to more than 90% of the UK’s population seven days a week.
The business is also hoping to grow its Casafina membership platform and develop its technology and product offering.
WorldStores is headquartered in Twickenham and currently employs more than 350 people. Its annual turnover has now topped £100 million. CEO and founder Richard Tucker and Joe Murray have previously won the EY young entrepreneur of the year.
Current investors Balderton Capital, Advent Ventures and Serena Capital participated in the founding round – and OC&C Strategy Consultants advised on the process.
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The Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division (MBD), which led on the funding round, invests in equity and credit across corporate, real estate and infrastructure strategies. Since its formation in 1986 it has raised more than $140 billion of capital; making it one of the largest managers of private capital in the world.
David Reis, executive director and head of technology investments at Goldman Sachs MBD in Europe, will join the advisory board of WorldStores as part of the funding deal.
Andrew Wolff, MD and head of Goldman Sachs MBD for Europe, Middle East, Africa and co-Head of Asia, said the firm has been “impressed by the success of WorldStores and is pleased to back such a high-quality founder led management team”.
“We see favourable dynamics in the UK online furniture market and share the management team’s vision to strengthen the Company’s leadership position and deliver value to its customers,” he said.
WorldStores co-CEO and co-founder Joe Murray said that 2014 was a strong year for the company and that progress “shows no sign of abating”.
“We are delighted to welcome Goldman Sachs as new shareholder to the company and are pleased to have gained the trust of such a formidable investor to support our vision for the company in this important growth stage,” he continued.
Further reading on funding: Shopa secures £11m from Octopus and Notion