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Index, Spark lead $42m Series B for online antique marketplace 1stdibs

4 Dec 2012

London-based venture capital firm Index Ventures and Boston-based Twitter investor Spark Capital have led a $42m Series B financing round for 1stdibs, the world’s largest online marketplace for rare antiques and desirable objects.

The investment, which will help finance the company’s international expansion, marketing and adoption of new technology, follows a $60m Series A round late last year from Benchmark, which also invested in the current round of funding.

New York-based 1stdibs was founded in 2001 by Michael Bruno, and has an office in the UK.

All the items for sale on the platform are sold through a network of around 1,700 dealers that specialise in rare antiques and vintage design, estate jewelry, fine art, and vintage couture.

The gross merchandise volume of goods sold by 1stdibs dealers will exceed $650m this year – up 30 per cent from $500m last year.

The company has tripled its presence in Europe in the last year alone, partly through the acquisition of Online Galleries in September, which added over 200 leading UK dealers to its platform in addition to vendors in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France.

An additional 30 dealers in Italy and Spain are also scheduled to join in December, by which point 1stdibs will have a dealer presence in nine countries.

“We know luxury. We know marketplaces. And we know Europe,” said Danny Rimer of Index, whose investments include Etsy, Nasty Gal, and Far Fetch. “1stdibs is all of these things.”

About 15 per cent of total sales in the luxury goods industry are directly generated by digital media, according to a recent report on the digital luxury goods market conducted by McKinsey & Co.

Last year online sales of personal luxury goods reached €6.2bn, growing three-times faster than the total personal luxury goods market, and is expected to reach €15bn by 2016.

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