LONDON — Global shopping search platform Lyst said Wednesday that it has raised $85 million in new funding ahead of a potential IPO.
A number of new investors participated in the round, including funds managed by Fidelity International, Novator Capital, Giano Capital and C4 Ventures.
Existing investors Draper Esprit, Steadfast Financial, 14W, Accel, Balderton Capital, Venrex and LVMH also took part, as did the entrepreneur and strategic adviser Carmen Busquets, who raised her minority stake in the company.
The funding follows a pandemic boon for the company.
Lyst said that in 2020 it saw a 1,100 percent increase in new users on its app and more than 150 million shoppers purchasing product via the Lyst website or app — which allow shoppers to search for products online from more than 17,000 brands’ and retailers’ commerce platforms. It’s also known for using the data from customer searches to identify industry and shopping trends.
According to the company, total gross merchandise volume exceeded $500 million in the last year.
“In recent years we have seen other high-growth fashion tech businesses taking the next step, and we believe Lyst is well positioned to capitalize on this market momentum,” said Nicola McClafferty, partner at Draper Esprit, adding that digital consumption habits and the growth of luxury e-commerce will only continue post-pandemic.
McClafferty noted that Draper Esprit has backed Lyst since Series A, “and we believe this latest round sets the business up for an exciting next phase.”
Busquets, an early investor in Net-a-porter, Farfetch and a variety of other fashion tech companies, said she plans to become more involved with Lyst in the coming months.
She said she’s eager to see Lyst fine-tune its discovery capabilities and to help consumers find specific products, shapes, cuts and styles. She said the challenge now is to make the discovery “more personalized, and more exciting.”
As the company looks ahead to the post-pandemic world, it believes there is opportunity for further growth in markets where the shift to fashion e-commerce has remained slow.
“Lyst is rapidly becoming a fashion category leader, which hundreds of millions of fashion lovers rely on to decide what to buy. While our app and website already enjoy very large audiences in the U.S. and Europe, fashion e-commerce remains under-penetrated in general, with huge growth potential globally,” said Chris Morton, founder and chief executive officer of Lyst.
To help spearhead its growth plans, the company has tapped former Spotify executive Mateo Rando as its new chief product officer. Rando will focus on further developing the Lyst app, which was the most-downloaded fashion app globally over the last year.
“Lyst is building the future of fashion shopping with a data-driven, highly personalized approach. Over the past few years fashion e-commerce has exploded, with more and more people managing their entire shopping journey online. [We want to] deliver a truly personalized experience that also balances the chaos and beauty of fashion culture,” Rando said.
Emma McFerran, the company’s chief people officer and general counsel, has been promoted to chief operating officer and board member, tasked to lead strategic planning, finance, people and legal functions.