LONDON, United Kingdom — Today, curated fashion platform Farfetch — which connects consumers with carefully selected product from a large global network of independent boutiques — has announced a $86 million Series E round of investment, led by Yuri Milner’s investment group DST Global, with participation from existing investors Condé Nast International and Vitruvian Partners, bringing the total amount of capital the company has raised to date to over $195 million.
The deal values the company at $1 billion, making it one of the few “unicorns” to emerge in the fashion industry and join the league of private companies worth more than $1 billion.
Once near mythical, “unicorns” have grown in number in the last few years, as Silicon Valley start-ups like Uber have crossed the $1 billion threshold many times over. In December, Uber was valued at $40 billion after a $1.2 billion fundraising round. Yet in fashion the phenomenon remains rare. Asos was never valued at $1 billion as a private company. Neither was Yoox. And though Net-a-Porter, valued at £350m (about $531 million) when it was acquired by Richemont in 2010, is worth far more today, there has been no market transaction — a funding round, acquisition or IPO — to validate this.
Farfetch will use this latest injection of funds to drive the company’s international expansion, launching new local language sites in German, Korean and Spanish and adding new offices to those it already operates in London, New York, Los Angeles, Porto and São Paulo.
Additionally, the company will focus on adding boutiques in Japan and Australia to the supply side of its business and will push forward with omni-channel growth, establishing services like same-day delivery across the 180 countries in which its customers are based.
“The challenge now is to keep innovating and focus on establishing a long-lasting global brand,” said José Neves, founder and CEO of Farfetch.