Investors keeping an eye on consumer spending and behavior in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to pay close attention to e-commerce. In the most recent development, UK company Lyst, which provides a platform that enables high-end retailers and designers to sell directly to consumers, has raised $85 million in what it is marketing as a “Pre-IPO” round.
The company has said that it currently has 150 million users who can browse and purchase from a library of 8 million products from 17,000 brands and stores.
According to Lyst, the gross merchandise value in 2020 will exceed $500 million, with an 1100% increase in the number of new users. GMV has undoubtedly increased. Lyst, which launched in 2010, reported today that its lifetime GMV exceeds $2 billion.
“Lyst is quickly establishing itself as the fashion category leader, and hundreds of millions of fashion enthusiasts rely on it to make purchasing decisions.
While they currently have very significant audiences in the USA and Europe for their app and website, fashion e-commerce is still mostly untapped globally, with a tonne of room for expansion.
Lyst’s CEO and creator, Chris Morton, stated in a statement that they are eager to use the money raised from prestigious investors to keep giving each of their millions of consumers a unique fashion shopping experience and to support the growth of their partner companies.
They have gotten in touch with the business to inquire about the time and location of a public listing, and while it hasn’t responded, they realize that London or New York would be the most apparent places for a listing, which isn’t expected to happen for another year or even three.
This round also saw an increase in investment from Carmen Busquets, a strategic advisor to the business who also co-founded one of Lyst’s rivals in the market, Net-a-Porter, the company stated.
The company is not disclosing the valuation, although sources claim it is close to $700 million with this round. The funding information was revealed to Sky News last night, although they did not have a valuation figure.
A different business that competes with Lyst in the same industry, Farfetch, went public a number of years ago and currently has a market cap of $14.4 billion as per lundentechcrunch.
Ironically, social media platforms would be a natural rival for Lyst, which was a pioneer in the field when it first launched. Users of Lyst’s site could follow influential high fashion brands and bloggers—at the time, curators and bloggers, not “influencers”—and receive notifications when brands or stores put tagged or in-demand products for sale.
People may have first had serious doubts about how effectively high fashion say pricey, occasionally esoteric—items would translate on screens. Costly must always mean high-touch sales in nice boutiques, right? However, over time, Lyst and the nearby users have abundantly proven it. Additionally, Lyst has raised ever larger sums over time to support its thesis.
More variations and rivals have emerged over time, but the crucial fact still stands that high fashion, when presented in the right way, has a sizable target audience. As a result, the pandemic has attracted more investment from companies, influencers, investors, and these marketplaces themselves.
Consumers, too. There have been times when those who, fortunately, have not found themselves in a dire financial situation — and there are those, too, sadly — have instead found that they have more disposable income than usual, since going out to eat, traveling, and other expenses have essentially disappeared.
On the other hand, fashion and generally acquiring more things for ourselves have turned into a type of escape. Furthermore, those who are moved by the sound of a tree falling in a forest and who happen to be nearby can still dress up, take photos of themselves for their stories, and benefit from their visibility.
“Over the past year, Lyst has made considerable progress for the quickly growing online luxury fashion market with its industry-leading app; this trend is certain to continue as consumers keep their new digital habits and demand for fashion rises even higher post-pandemic.
They feel Lyst is ideally positioned to take advantage of this industry momentum because they have seen other high-growth fashion IT companies advance in recent years.
Draper Esprit has been a supporter of Lyst since Series A, and according to partner Nicola McClafferty, “they believe this most recent investment sets the business up for an interesting next phase.”
In the run-up to its next corporate moves, Lyst also revealed a few additions to solidify its executive bench. To concentrate primarily on Lyst’s well-known mobile app, Mateo Rando, formerly of Spotify, has joined as chief product officer.
And Emma McFerran, who was previously the chief people officer and general counsel, is now the COO and a new board member.
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