Hong Kong-based luxury watch consignment retailer Wristcheck has raised 8 million US dollars in a seeding round led by Gobi Partners GBA, which manages Alibaba’s Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and AEF Greater Bay Area Fund, with participation from K3 Ventures.
Since launching in 2020, Wristcheck reports that it has experienced 75 percent year-on-year growth in its total value of consigned watches and reported a 127 percent year-on-year growth in its number of consignors.
The platform, founded by 25-year-old Austen Chu and Sean Wong, is looking to revolutionise the way people buy and sell watches by taking a fixed rate from each sale. It takes 8 percent from the seller and 4 percent from the buyer, unlike traditional dealers, competitors and auction houses.
Austen Chu, co-founder and chief executive of Wristcheck, said in a statement: “Transparency is infused into every aspect of our ethos at Wristcheck and guides our mission of revolutionising the space from one that has been traditionally shrouded in obscurity to a more equitable playing field.
“Buyers know what sellers net, and sellers know what buyers pay. We’re incredibly excited to further build our vision of democratising the secondary watch space with our new partners.”
Hong Kong-based Wristcheck secures investment led by Gobi Partners GBA
To date, Wristcheck has amassed more than 50,000 community members and adds that its primary demographic is the next-gen watch enthusiasts. As 43 percent of its paying customers are under 30 years old, which it states signals a previously untapped segment of the market - young high net worth individuals with increasing spending power. It also opened its first flagship space in Landmark, Hong Kong in 2021 to bridge the gap between offline and online retailing.
Wristcheck’s new funding will enable the second-hand luxury watch platform to expand into “underserved” markets regionally in Asia, as well as develop a state-of-the-art web platform and launch a mobile app in Q2 2023.
The new Wristcheck platform will offer users an improved, seamless online-offline experience with fully authenticated timepieces, safe transactions, and other professional services that are currently under development to drive further efforts to build an inclusive global community.
It is also looking to become the first second-hand luxury watch platform that utilises AI and deep learning capabilities for its authentication process. With watches being one of the most counterfeited product categories in the world, Wristcheck's founders are hoping to make this industry a safer environment for consumers.
Chibo Tang, managing partner of Gobi Partners GBA, added: “Combining Hong Kong’s competitive edge as a global-facing watch market with Wristcheck’s leading team and capabilities, we are confident that the company will be able to continue building on their current momentum and become a dominant player in the global secondary watch market.”