Melbourne-based online art marketplace Redbubble has raised $15.5 million in its latest capital raise, with the company looking to use the funds to push its international expansion.
Investors in the oversubscribed funding round include Melbourne’s Acorn Capital and London firm Piton Capital. Current high-worth investors in the company include Simon Baker, Michael Birch, and Stan Chudnovsky.
Martin Hosking, founder and CEO of Redbubble, said, “We are delighted to have closed the round with such strong institutional investors. The funds will allow us to service the growing consumer wave for personally relevant and creative products and accelerate our product rollout and plans for further international expansion.”
Greg Lockwood of Piton Capital will be joining the company’s board of directors, sitting alongside fellow new appointee Chris Nunn, Teresa Engelhard, Stephanie Tilenius, chairman Richard Cawsey, and Martin Hosking.
Redbubble was advised by EM Advisory and Allens Linklaters on this raising.
Founded in 2007, artists have earned over $30 million through Redbubble. The site now hosts 14 million images that can be printed on various products like shirts, mugs, and other accessories, with the company stating that more than 1.2 million customers shopped on the site last year and over 60,000 artists made sales.
Over 90 percent of these sales are coming from outside Australia, with Redbubble’s print-on-demand technology enabling products to be printed individually for each consumer as they order.
This latest capital raise comes as Redbubble says it expects to track over $100 million in sales in 2015. The company is also moving into new segments, having recently launched its first women’s street style fashion collection.
With rumours of an IPO having surrounded the startup for several years now, the rapid growth of Redbubble has come with the rise of similar platforms like Etsy. Mainstream is so out right now, with consumers increasingly looking to spend their hard-earned cash on bespoke and one of a kind designs that you can’t find mass-produced in stores.
These platforms come in all shapes and sizes, from German craft marketplace Dewanda, Arizona-based ArtFire, and Australian custom furniture site Handkrafted to Aftcra, which focuses on American artists.
As consumers have flocked to these platforms, so have investors: Etsy has to date raised almost $100 million, while Dewanda has raised over $5 million.
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