- Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez |
The so-called ‘Unicorn Club’ encloses those based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over 1 billion dollars by public or private market investors. The once-rare designation—hence the mythical name—is now shared by more than 80 start ups, most of them either based or originated in the US.
Latest in joining this exclusive club has been fashion online pioneer Farfetch. The online luxury department store has become the latest London technology business to be valued at 1 billion dollars.
Farfetch founder José Neves defended the company’s high valuation, saying: “We were valued by our investors based on other e-commerce businesses that are out there, based on marketplaces that are public and based on other fashion retailers. No one is going to pay more than what the market has been valuing these companies at.”
Farfetch’s entry in this exclusive group of billionaire tech companies has been possible thanks to the latest round of funding it secured.
The retailer has just raised 86 million dollars from investors including DST Capital, a venture capital fund run by Russian investor Yuri Milner that previously backed the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Airbnb.
Existing investors Conde Nast, the publisher of Vogue, and Vitruvian Partners also took part in the funding round, bringing the total raised by Farfetch to date to almost 200 million dollars.
But it is not just enough, following Farfetch’s founder words. Neves added in a recent interview that the company he launched in 2007 could have been given a higher price tag if not for the recent poor run of form among online retailers. “We probably would be worth more if it wasn’t for that correction in the market. Our investors have access to the news, everyone is reading this information.”
“Farfetch has a strong team, impressive growth and great potential to capitalize on the fast growing luxury fashion e-commerce market,” Yuri Milner, founder of DST Global, noted in a statement, highlighting the reasons for which he has backed the online retailer.
“We have no plans to launch a private label or add any inventory,” Neves tells ‘TechCrunch’, adding that, for now, “The plan is to continue to be a marketplace and connect global retailers.”
Farfetch, which brings together more than 300 of the world's top designer boutiques on its website Farfetch.com, has raised a total of more than 195 million dollars. Proceeds from the fundraising will go to launch local language websites, including those in German, Korean and Spanish, it said in a statement.