Chrono24, the global digital marketplace for new and pre-owned luxury watches, has secured more than 100 million euros (118 million US dollars) in Series C investment.
The round was led by General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm, with participation from Aglaé Ventures, the technology arm of LVMH founder Bernard Arnault’s family investment company. They were joined by existing investors Insight Partners and Sprints Capital.
This newest minority growth funding brings Chrono24’s cumulative funds raised to over 200 million euros to date, approximately 236 million US dollars.
This funding round also makes Chrono24 the first “unicorn” among luxury watch digital marketplaces with a valuation now surpassing a billion dollars, solidifying its position as the global online marketplace for luxury new and pre-owned watches.
Chrono24 said that it plans to leverage the new investment to accelerate its growth trajectory, including continuing to scale internationally, deepening its presence in existing markets and augmenting its global team with additional top talent.
Currently, the market leader in more than 100 countries, Chrono24 also plans to enhance its user experience to further capitalise on the thriving pre-owned luxury watch market and capture the potential to service a new generation of collectors.
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Chrono24 co-chief executive, Tim Stracke, said in a statement: “Once again, Chrono24 has been able to win premier growth-experienced partners like General Atlantic and Aglaé Ventures. As originators of the digital marketplace concept within the luxury watch world, we’ve built a platform that not only supports and encourages evolving consumer behaviour, but also provides invaluable proof of concept to an industry that has traditionally shied away from disruption.
“We are very pleased that General Atlantic and Aglaé Ventures recognise the vast market potential lying in the digital evolution of luxury retail and our company’s role in this industry.”
Founded in 2003, Chrono24 originated as a digital peer-to-peer marketplace for timepieces, pioneering and digitising the historically offline luxury watch industry and was one of the first companies of scale to connect watch dealers and collectors around the globe through its digital marketplace. It currently employs almost 400 people in offices in Karlsruhe, Berlin, New York and Hong Kong.
The company is now the largest dedicated watch marketplace, receiving more than 500,000 unique visitors per day and 9 million per month. It lists approximately half a million luxury watches for sale at any given time from more than 3,000 retailers and 30,000 private sellers across more than 100 countries worldwide.
In 2020, Chrono24 generated a transaction volume growth of 30 percent, with monthly purchase requests falling in the six-digit range.
Jörn Nikolay, managing director with responsibility for General Atlantic’s operations in Germany, added: “Since its establishment in 2003, Karlsruhe-based Chrono24 has become a global pioneer in the creation of a cross-border online marketplace for luxury watches, with an innovative model underpinned by transparency and sustainability. We are pleased to support Chrono24 with our capital and expertise in its ongoing global expansion.”