Trouva raises £17m investment to fuel expansion
Trouva, the online destination for unique products from the best curators around the world, has announced it has raised £17m in further investment to accelerate international expansion. The funding was led by Octopus Ventures, alongside C4 Ventures and Downing Ventures, with BGF and LocalGlobe also participating in the round.
Launched in London in September 2015 and co-founded by Alex Loizou, Mandeep Singh and Glen Walker, Trouva was named one of the five most exciting high-growth startups in the UK by the Startups 100 Index 2019.
By enabling customers to discover beautiful, hard-to-find products, handpicked by the world’s best curators from Shoreditch to Stockholm, Trouva ensures they no longer miss out on finding just the right thing for them, wherever in the world it may be hiding.
The marketplace connects its network of independent boutiques with a wider global customer base they wouldn’t otherwise have access to, powered by its proprietary software platform for bricks-and-mortar shops, handling everything from inventory management through to logistics.
The funding round, which includes the conversion of a £7m convertible note, will support Trouva in further establishing itself as the global destination for the best of independent retail.
The business expanded internationally for the first time in June 2018 with the launch of 20 Berlin boutiques. It has since grown rapidly and now brings together over 200,000 products from more than 800 independents from over 300 towns and cities, including Paris, Lisbon, Rome and Barcelona. Today, 40% of Trouva’s retailer network is made up of bricks-and-mortar shops outside of the UK, across 12 European countries.
Along with continuing to build its network of independent boutiques, Trouva is also set to grow international demand, starting with the launch of its German website. Over the last four years, Trouva has helped customers across the UK to shop expertly curated product ranges that are otherwise hard to find. The launch of trouva.de will now open up the best independents to German customers so that they too can discover those unique, hard-to-find pieces.
News of the latest funding and international expansion plans comes as Trouva announces the appointment of Juliet Warkentin as Chief Marketing Officer. After appointing former Uber and Betfair exec, Niall Wass, as Chair in November 2018, Trouva continues to build a world-class leadership team to take on the legacy online marketplaces. Warkentin was previously Director of Marketing at Amazon Fashion Europe. Prior to that, she was Editor-in-chief at Drapers and Marie Claire before taking on the roles of Editorial Director at Redwood and Content Director at WGSN.
Mandeep Singh, Co-founder at Trouva, said: “At Trouva, we envision a world where beautiful offline inventory is easily available to all. Over the last 12 months we’ve taken important steps in achieving this by further extending our platform to the greatest independents across Europe and nearly doubling our network of retailers, with top boutiques achieving hundreds of thousands of pounds of sales through Trouva.com.
"We will be using this latest investment to grow international demand and are excited to officially launch in Germany as we start to broaden our customer base and expand into new European markets. As we continue to scale rapidly, we will also continue to build a world-class team with this funding round. We’re thrilled to bring Juliet onboard as CMO with her experience developing and managing high-profile brands.”
Alex Loizou, Co-founder at Trouva, said: “We’re excited to be taking one more step towards solving one of the biggest questions in retail today: ‘Where do you go if you are looking for inspiration, and you don’t know what you want?’. We believe that the incredible wealth of inventory coming from the master curators of the offline world is the answer to that question. We’re at the forefront of this transformation of retail, one powered by inspiration and discovery which unites the best of online and offline.”
Juliet Warkentin, CMO at Trouva, said: “For too long, discovery, inspiration and curation-led categories were missing from the e-commerce landscape. As a result, customers were able to easily access the commodity products they needed online, but often found it difficult to uncover the products they truly wanted. I’m delighted to have joined Trouva in order to bring what we do to as many people around the world as possible, helping them to find more beautiful things, not just more things.”
Along with debuting at number three on the Startups 100 2019 Index earlier this year, Trouva was also named one of the five hottest UK startups for an unprecedented third year running, as part of The Next Web’s annual Tech5 list 2019 and won “Emerging Retailer of the Year” at the prestigious Retail Week Awards 2019.