Moda Operandi

Luxury e-commerce site Moda Operandi raised $100 million in new equity and debt financing, led by existing investors New Enterprise Associates Inc. and the Apax Digital Fund, with additional participation from the Santo Domingo family, Comerica Bank and TriplePoint Capital, among others.

Moda will use the funds to invest in client experience, innovation, curation and the data and technology systems that power the platform.

The new commitment brings Moda Operandi’s total equity capital raised to date to $345 million.

“For the past nine years, Moda has disrupted the way people shop for luxury fashion,” said Moda Operandi’s chief executive officer Ganesh Srivats. “This investment will enable us to build on that innovation, investing further in the client and designer experience and connecting more of the world’s best fashion to more people.”

Amid increasing competition for online luxury customers, Srivats, a former Tesla executive, who spent a decade at Burberry, in August replaced Deborah Nicodemus as Moda’s ceo. Nicodemus had said the company planned to be profitable in 2020.

Moda launched with luxury and designer apparel in 2010 and subsequently added fine jewelry, and in the last two to three years branched out into home products and men’s wear. It offers several ways to shop, including trunk shows and one-on-one sessions with stylists at its brick-and-mortar showrooms and in-home appointments. The site has a feature that allows consumers to shop certain runway collections and preorder styles within a limited time window.

Strivats has made no secret of his ambition to enter China, the world’s largest luxury market, however, there are headwinds he couldn’t have predicted.

While doing luxury e-commerce business in China is difficult alone —with Yoox Net-a-porter Group and Farfetch’s existing alliances with Alibaba and, respectively, leaving little space for latecomers to capture a share of the market — the deadly coronavirus identified in Wuhan, is threatening the global economy.

Moda recently named Ming Yang managing director, China. Ming will be the C Ventures-backed online luxury platform’s first employee in China as it makes its “official entry into the region, as it builds out its strategy, operations, marketing and personal styling programs from Shanghai,” Moda said

Since launching online in 2012, Moda has opened town house showrooms for clients to view collections in person, including locations in Belgravia London and Manhattan’s Madison Avenue. A third location at K11 Musea, a museum-retail complex in Hong Kong set to open “this fall,” the web site said, and there are plans to open more showrooms in other key cities around the world.

Dan O’Keefe, managing partner of Apax Digital, said: “We continue to be impressed with the power of Moda’s brand and its positioning in the luxury market. Moda has been enhancing its technology capabilities as a world leading platform for fashion discovery and is led by a world-class team. We look forward to continuing to support their expansion.”

“Moda Operandi has disrupted the traditional e-commerce model, using technology to give people unprecedented access to fashion,” said Tony Florence, general partner and head of technology investing at NEA. “It was a really big idea when we led the Series A, and today Ganesh and the team are executing on that data-enabled retail model at scale. We’re thrilled to continue supporting the company in this latest round.”

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