Beringea and Piton Capital invest $10 million into online luxury watch retailer Watchfinder
September 15th 2014
The investment will be used to broaden the company’s inventory and offering of luxury timepieces
(London, UK) Beringea, the growth capital investor managing the ProVen Venture Capital Trusts and Piton Capital, the specialist marketplace investor, have invested $10 million (£6.18 million) into Watchfinder, the UK’s leading pre-owned watch resale marketplace. The investment, which was funded 50/50 by Piton and the ProVen VCTs, will be used to broaden the company’s inventory and offering of luxury timepieces, roll out a multi-media marketing campaign and further fund the watch servicing centre, as well as provide limited liquidity for existing shareholders.
Founded in 2002, Watchfinder is the leader in UK pre-owned luxury watches, having sold over £120 million in luxury brands such as Rolex, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Breitling, Omega, and Patek Philippe, as well as rare and vintage models. In addition to its extensive online marketplace, the company has opened a flagship boutique in the Royal Exchange, a luxury shopping centre located next door to the Bank of England.
Watchfinder also operates a certified servicing center in Maidstone where the company’s expert technicians use manufacturer-approved machinery to service timepieces. Every watch repair and refurbishment is followed by testing for accuracy, efficiency and water resistance, ensuring that each watch falls within the manufacturer’s specified tolerance before being returned to its owner or sold.
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.”
Karen McCormick, partner and investment director for Beringea, commented: “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.”