FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ModCloth Raises $25 Million in Funding Led by Norwest Venture Partners
Online Retailer Uses Funds to Fuel Growth, Empower Its Community of Shoppers and Build on Fun and Unique Social Shopping Experience
San Francisco, CA -- May 15, 2012 -- ModCloth, an innovative online retailer of independently designed fashion and decor, has closed a $25 million round of funding led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). The e-tailer's existing investors, led by Accel Partners, also participated in this round. Josh Goldman of NVP will be a new addition to the ModCloth board, joining Theresia Gouw Ranzetta of Accel, Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital, Ann Miura-Ko of Floodgate, and husband-and-wife co-founders Eric Koger and Susan Gregg Koger.
"We're very excited to announce our latest funding round with Norwest Venture Partners, especially with Josh at the helm," said ModCloth CEO and Co-Founder, Eric Koger. "His experience as an investor in innovative ecommerce companies like Quirky, WhaleShark Media and Gilt Groupe, combined with his deep operational background, give Josh a unique knowledge and understanding of our potential and how ModCloth fits in the landscape of fashion-oriented technology companies."
The funding will allow ModCloth to continue building a site experience that empowers its community and makes for a fun and unique social shopping experience, as well as expand its popular Be the Buyer™ program. Be the Buyer™, which allows customers to vote items from emerging designers into production, recently surpassed 12 million votes.
I'm passionate about companies in the online retail space that are bringing together community, content, and commerce into highly engaging new shopping experiences for consumers. When done right, these efforts can not only build tremendous loyalty among users, but can also bring remarkable efficiency and operational improvements to the business itself," said Goldman. "ModCloth does this better than any company in the industry. It uniquely integrates data and input from the community into virtually every area of its operations, from supply chain planning, to merchandizing, to customer support. This distinctive vision gives ModCloth the opportunity to change what's happening in both fashion and online retailing, and in the process, create one of the next great global brands in those industries."
ModCloth was started by high school sweethearts Eric Koger and Susan Gregg Koger when they were just teenagers, the summer before attending Carnegie Mellon University in 2002. After graduating from college in 2006, Susan and Eric decided to expand their site selection from strictly one-of-a-kind vintage items to a vintage-inspired aesthetic with items from talented independent designers from all over the world. The company has since gained attention for empowering their community of shoppers through a social commerce platform that brings products to market via customer feedback and validation. Most recently, ModCloth launched its "Make the Cut Contest," a crowdsourced design competition that gives aspiring designers the opportunity to submit design sketches based on a themed inspiration board. Select designs are then voted on by the ModCloth community, with the favorites being put into production and sold on ModCloth.com.
With the new funding round, the online retailer also plans to grow its team, not only at its San Francisco headquarters, but also at its Pittsburgh and Los Angeles locations. Named "America's Fastest Growing Retailer" in 2010 by Inc. Magazine, ModCloth has since grown to nearly 300 employees across its three locations. Last year, ModCloth consolidated its fulfillment center and office in Pittsburgh to a 146,000 square foot space in Crafton, Pennsylvania.
ModCloth is an innovative online retailer of vintage-inspired fashion and décor. They're building a platform that will further empower their global community to directly collaborate on the production of unique and inspiring merchandise, with the mission to change the way fashion is discovered, developed, and delivered around the world. ModCloth has gained media attention for cultivating one of the most active communities in fashion through groundbreaking engagement strategies that extend from their site to social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. The company is founded by husband-and-wife team Eric Koger and Susan Gregg Koger, who now have a team of nearly 300 helping them make their vision a reality. They’re backed by Accel Partners, FirstRound Capital, Floodgate, Harrison Metal, StubHub founder Jeff Fluhr, and Norwest Venture Partners.
About Norwest Venture Partners (NVP)
Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) is a global venture and growth equity investment firm that manages more than $3.7 billion in capital. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, NVP has subsidiaries in Mumbai and Bengaluru, India and Herzelia, Israel and Hong Kong. NVP makes early to late stage venture and growth equity investments across a wide range of sectors including: information technology, business services, financial services, infrastructure, technology enabled services and consumer. NVP has actively partnered with entrepreneurs to build great businesses for more than 50 years and has funded over 500 companies since inception. For more information visit: http://www.nvp.com.
Alicia Barnes, Public Relations Manager