A consortium of SanomaVentures and founders/investors behind online fashion retailer Vault79 today announced their investment in fellow fashion startup FashionQlub. Both the size and valuation of the deal have not been disclosed, but various previous SanomaVentures deals have been rumored to have been around the EUR500k mark. SanomaVentures has been an incredibly active startup investor this year and aims to continue to do so in the next years (more in our interview with investment director Herman Kienhuis).
Given the similarities between Vault79 and FashionQlub and the following part of the official press release: “Combining the activities of Vault79.com with FashionQlub will create one of the biggest online flash sale retailers in fashion”, what is being reported as an investment could in practice be closer to a merger/acquisition deal. Especially since SanomaVentures previously invested in Vault79 too. In any case, the two fashion flash sales sites together pretty much have the Netherlands covered and will look for international opportunities going forward.
Both FashionQlub (through Goeiemode.nl and other sites) and Vault79 offer daily fashion deals. Popular brands offer a handful of items at significant discounts (25-75%). FashionQlub was founded in 2010 by Lennart Koopmans and Alexander van Nimwegen. Since then the two have done various acquisitions like 42HRSclub.com and Brandfield.com and have started international expansion to Belgium and Germany.
Vault79 was originally founded by Helene Ekkers in november 2011. At the time she was backed by Rotterdam’s serial entrepreneurs Michiel Muller en Marc Schröder (RouteMobiel, Tango). However, Ekkers was ousted/left Vault79 in 2012, after which Muller took over as CEO and “co-founder”. Right around this time SanomaVentures invested in the startup too.
The new combination clearly aims to increase their joint rate of growth, Koopmans: “With this investment by SanomaVentures and the founders of Vault79, we can expand the team and increase our marketing power to speed up our growth.” Muller adds: “The joint investment with SanomaVentures in FashionQlub means that we can develop a strong market position for both Vault79.com and Goeiemode.nl in the Netherlands and grow further internationally.”