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Moda Operandi secures 165 million dollars in growth capital

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Moda Operandi, the first online luxury retailer to provide consumers access to full collections straight from the runway, has secured 165 million dollars in growth capital to “fuel continued international growth and increased development across several key business verticals”.

The new round of investment was led by billionaire entrepreneur Adrian Cheng, who has acquired a “significant stake” in Moda Operandi through his C Ventures and K11 investment vehicles, whose family businesses include Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, New World Development, Rosewood Hotel and Resorts and K11.

Apax Digital, a new growth capital fund advised by the global private equity firm Apax Partners, also took part in the 165 million dollar investment. They join existing investors including New Enterprise Associates, LVMH and Fidelity, among others.

The significant boost in funding will be used to continue the company’s global expansion, with a particular focus on the Asian and Middle Eastern markets, as since their last round of funding in 2014, the business has more than tripled in size, with international markets now representing more than one-third of total demand led by Asia and the Middle East.

Expansion of Moda Operandi’s showroom concept and stylist program will aid in continued international growth as the “high-touch client services complement the high-tech business approach,” said the company.

Billionaire entrepreneur Adrian Cheng invests in Moda Operandi

Moda Operandi’s chief executive officer, Deborah Nicodemus, said: “Moda Operandi is the only multi brand e-commerce site where the shopping experience is dedicated to elevating the brand’s digital presence. Our continued success demonstrates the strength of our business, and gives new and existing investors the confidence in our capacity to pursue tremendous global growth.

“We look forward to continuing the momentum behind the transformation of the online luxury experience for our global clients. Through the leadership of the Moda team, and the bench strength of our existing investors coupled with the new partnership of Adrian Cheng and Apax Digital, we are defining the future of luxury e-commerce.”

Additionally, the new funds will be used for key categories expansion and the launch of new businesses, to support its strategies across marketing, customer acquisition initiatives, to further develop the existing brand portfolio and expand new brand relationships, as well as to “accelerate improvements” in mobile technology, advancements in customisation, personalisation, and internationalisation, the company added.

“I am hugely excited about Moda Operandi as an investment prospect. Its business model is cutting edge, with a curated customer experience that has a lot of potential within C Ventures’ and K11 Investment’s networks of brands, which collides the worlds of fashion, creative media and art to service millennial consumer interests in the global market. I’m looking forward to seeing how the brand grows and taps into this big business opportunity”

Adrian Cheng, co-founder of C Ventures and Founder of K11 Investment

Dan O’Keefe, managing partner of the Apax Digital team, added: “We are delighted to partner with Moda to help accelerate this next phase of its growth. We have been so impressed with the power of Moda’s brand and its positioning in the luxury market. Our partnership further confirms our commitment to growth within the luxury digital arena. We believe our unique operating capabilities and global platform can help drive the business even further and accelerate its international presence."

Moda Operandi launched in February 2011 as the only place to preorder looks straight from the unedited runway collections of the world’s top designers months before they are available anywhere else. It offers a bespoke shopping experience that includes hand-selected recommendations from personal stylists, and access to haute couture. To date, it has raised over 132 million dollars in funding ahead of this round.

Image: Moda Operandi website

Adrian Cheng
apax digital