A Series C round worth £10 million has been secured by WorldStores as part of the online retailer’s efforts to grow its supplier network.
UK-based WorldStores has secured investment from Serena Capital, Balderton Capital and Advent Venture Partners.
The £10 million Series C round will reportedly allow the home and garden products online retailer to invest in its supplier network and expand its product range beyond its current 500,000 level.
WorldStores was set up by Richard Tucker and Joe Murray, both co-chief executives, who previously founded customer service technology provider Atmyside in 1999 before selling it to Scandex Group in 2003.
Tucker comments, ‘We’re delighted that the backing of Serena Capital and our existing investors will enable WorldStores to continue to invest in the company’s exciting growth.
‘This will allow us to extend our network of supplier relationships still further, and to offer an even great choice to our customers. We will continue to invest in the development of the business and our brand, now supported by TV advertising.’
WorldStores has now raised a total of £21 million, including the latest Serena Capital-led round. The remaining £11 million consists of contributions from Advent Venture Partners and Balderton Capital, through a £7 million investment in 2011, and Balderton Capital’s initial early £4 million backing in 2009.
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New backer Serena Capital is a management company established in 2008 by three entrepreneurs: Marc Fournier, Philippe Havat and Xavier Lorphelin. The firm is focused on early growth capital investments of between €3 million and €8 million in sectors including media, telecom and consumer electronics.
The new funding round for WorldStores follows on from a 50 per cent growth in sales in 2012. The business is aiming for £75 million of sales in 2013, all from activities in the UK.
Fournier, managing partner at Serena Capital, adds, ‘We are most impressed with the company’s accomplishments and its ability to become a national UK leader in such a short period of time.
‘Serena Capital will participate in making WorldStores a unique online retail leader for the home through the depth and quality of its products and through the excellence of its costumer experience.’