NEW YORK — Moda Operandi, the online upstart by Lauren Santo Domingo and Aslaug Magnúsdottir, secured its second round of funding on Friday.
This story first appeared in the June 27, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Venture capital and growth equity firm New Enterprise Associates Inc. is the lead investor in the series B financing of $10 million, which is expected to help the site build its infrastructure and grow its international reach. The first round of financing was led by Boston-based New Atlantic Ventures.
“We took our time to figure which fund would be the best fit, and ended up with NEA,” Magnúsdottir said. “They are a top-tier VC [firm] and ranked among the top five in the U.S.
“Because we are a business that is selling to customers internationally, we love the fact that they have a presence internationally,” she added. “NEA has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Bangalore and Mumbai. Both China and India are among our target core markets for the future. We believe that NEA can be extremely supportive in terms of helping us build our international customer base.”
Tony Florence, a partner in NEA, will join the board of Moda Operandi. “The high end of fashion and luxury accessories is a massive market that is global,” Florence said. “To some extent, it has been lacking innovation in the last few years around the consumer experience and the brands. Moda comes at it in a very differentiated way.”
Moda Operandi went live in February in time for New York Fashion Week, and offered designer collections from New York, London, Milan and Paris shortly after the shows. It has 16 full-time employees, and Magnúsdottir said the company plans to add 10 more before the end of the year. “We will also be adding new features to the site,” Magnúsdottir said, citing iPhone and iPad applications and a virtual closet as upcoming launches.