Six-year-old luxury marketplace 1stdibs.com has learned over the years the intricacies involved in authenticating rare art and securely shipping fragile $38,000 garden statues. It’s also learned how to raise cash. The company said Thursday it has raised $76 million in a series D round of funding, bringing its total primary capital raised to $170 million.
1stdibs, No. 52 in the 2019 Internet Retailer Online Marketplaces database, says it will use the funds to invest in its business, expand internationally and make strategic acquisitions. It didn’t immediately respond to a request for more details on how it plans to spend the money.
T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. led the round. Other investors include Groupe Artémis, which is the controlling shareholder of Kering Group and owns the fine auction house Christie’s; Foxhaven Asset Management; Sofina Group; Michael Zeisser, former chairman of U.S. Investments for Alibaba Group; and Allen & Company.
“Over the past six years, we have transformed 1stdibs from a listing site to the leading global luxury marketplace for the design world,” says 1stdibs CEO David Rosenblatt. “Having established that ecommerce platform, we are now in a position to accelerate growth through investment in the core business as well as attractive adjacent categories.”
Sales through 1stdibs.com totaled $250 million in 2018. The company says it works with more than 4,200 dealers in 43 countries and attracts more than 28 million web visitors from around the world.
1stdibs.com’s business has evolved significantly since its launch in 2001, when it was a listings site where dealers could list items for sale but there was no ecommerce. The online marketplace redesigned the site to allow buyers to make purchases online in 2016, after years of testing a “Buy” button on some products.
1stdibs, which sells to both individual consumers and interior designers, offers specialized services, including verifying the authenticity of every item and handling shipping for items that can be valuable, bulky and fragile. As of mid-2018, it had about 400 employees and its average order value was nearly $3,000.
While 1stdibs’ core business is products for the home, it has staked out a strong position in fine jewelry. Jewelry sales were on track to approach $50 million in 2018, Rosenblatt said in an interview with Internet Retailer in mid-2018.
Also last year, it launched its Trade Rewards Loyalty Program, which supports the some 45,000 interior designers in 1stdibs’ trade program—a group that accounted for around 30% of sales in 2018. The program offers cashback rewards that increase as designers purchase more through the marketplace. It also launched My Workspace, which makes it easier for interior designers and architects to manage numerous product inquiries and purchases on 1stdibs.
1stdibs also says it is focusing on growing its New & Custom category, which launched in 2016 and includes traditional, modern and conceptual styles, all with original designs.