LONDON —With the marketplace business model gaining momentum, as seen by Farfetch and Amazon’s soaring share prices during the pandemic, Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based growth investment firm has acquired a majority stake in Notonthehighstreet, an online marketplace stocked with curated lifestyle products.
The new backing will help it to widen its reach in the U.K., and expand its offerings into other categories such as homeware, gardenware, and food and drink, and expedite the company’s tech and product roadmap.
Notonthehighstreet said its revenues gained more than 50 percent as its customer base grew by almost one million and added four times as many small business partners year-over-year.
Claire Davenport, chief executive officer at Notonthehighstreet, described the platform as “the online home of the U.K.’s best creative small businesses.”
“With more people shopping online and choosing to support small businesses than ever before, Notonthehighstreet has become a go-to platform for people across the U.K. who are seeking unique ways to improve their home environment, discover new ways to spend their time, and find thoughtful ways to stay connected with loved ones,” she added.
Founded in 2006 by Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish, Notonthehighstreet was previously backed by Index Ventures, Venrex, and Eight Roads Ventures. Existing investors Burda Principal Investments and Industry Ventures remain as shareholders.
Having raised nearly $8 billion, Great Hill Partners has been an active player in the field of digital commerce for the past two decades, with Momondo Group, Wayfair, and The RealReal among its expansive portfolios across the software, digital commerce, financial technology, health care, and digital infrastructure sectors.
Struggling British high-street retailers like Debenhams are also looking to the marketplace model for an answer. Its website, which was snapped up by Boohoo, had 300 million U.K. website visits a year, making it a top 10 retail website in the U.K. by traffic.
Boohoo said the acquisition represents a strategic opportunity to transform the target addressable market through the creation of an online marketplace that leverages Debenhams’ brand awareness and traffic through the development of beauty and fashion partnerships connecting brands with consumers.