Switzerland-based Chronext, an online luxury watch marketplace, has secured 11 million euros in Series C funding. Partech Ventures led the round with participation from Octopus Ventures, Capnamic Ventures, NRW.BANK and InVenture Partners. According to the company, the capital infusion will be used to grow its presence in Germany as well as expand internationally.
CHRONEXT, a curated online marketplace for luxury watches, announced today a series C financing round of €11M. The round was led by Partech Ventures and joined by Octopus Ventures, who came in as a new backer in this round, alongside existing investors, Capnamic Ventures, NRW.BANK and InVenture Partners.
Founded in 2013 in Switzerland, CHRONEXT is a secure marketplace where new and second-hand luxury watches can be bought, sold, or serviced at fair prices. The company operates in the multi-billion Euro market for luxury watches. Currently, online sales account for 1 to 2% of the market and represent the fastest growing segment of the industry.
CHRONEXT achieved an impressive traction and managed to grow their revenues by 380% from December 2014 to December 2015. The CHRONEXT concept is based on the principles of high security and excellent service. Every watch offered is examined in the company’s certified in-house watchmaking atelier, thus guaranteeing the quality and the authenticity of each timepiece available for sale. Should clients be unable to find their desired timepiece, the CHRONEXT Watchhunter team can source the watch for them, quickly and free of charge. In addition to the ever growing online selection of over 15,000 luxury watches, CHRONEXT clients are able to visit a London-based flagship boutique where they can browse a selection of watches or pick up their online purchase.
Philipp Man, co-founder and CEO of CHRONEXT, said: “We are extremely happy about the vote of confidence of Partech Ventures, which is leading this round, our existing shareholders and our new partner Octopus Ventures. The support of Partech, who has years of experience with marketplaces and e-commerce, along with their vast international network and capital under management, will allow CHRONEXT to evolve into the largest player in the luxury timepiece market in the near future.”
“CHRONEXT is operating a unique model to become a global digital leader in the huge market of luxury watches. We were especially impressed by the level of expertise of the founding and management team, which in our opinion will be a clear differentiator for success”, explained Olivier Schuepbach, General Partner of Partech Ventures. “The incredible pace at which the company grew till now and the successful start of internationalization beyond Germany were also key considerations for us to invest in CHRONEXT”, he added.
Will Gibbs, Octopus Ventures, commented: “Here at Octopus we are dedicated to backing unusually talented teams. Luxury watches is a very interesting segment with a large number of passionate customers who have previously been constrained by the absence of a fully authenticated online marketplace. CHRONEXT has both the ambition and potential to be the category leader. We are looking forward to working with the team.”
“We are very happy with CHRONEXT’s development since our seed investment two years ago. The new funds allow CHRONEXT to accelerate its international growth and utilize the advantages of a global marketplace”, commented Joerg Binnenbruecker, Managing Partner at Capnamic Ventures.
The new financing round will allow CHRONEXT to strengthen its growth in Germany and the UK and further expand internationally.
CHRONEXT is creating a new paradigm in the luxury watch industry. The company provides a safe and easy way to buy, sell and service fine timepieces online.
The CHRONEXT business concept is founded on three major pillars: guaranteed security, first-class service, and fair prices. Every watch purchased via the CHRONEXT online platform – no matter whether new or pre-owned – is checked by a certified in-house watchmaker. CHRONEXT clients receive a warranty for every watch purchased as well as a free partial revision within this period of time. Furthermore, the CHRONEXT Watchhunter service takes customer satisfaction to the next level by sourcing specific timepiece models for clients, free of charge.
The company was founded in 2013 by Philipp Man and Ludwig Wurlitzer and is currently headquartered in Zug, Switzerland and has offices in Cologne as well as London. In addition to an online platform, CHRONEXT also offers clients the opportunity to visit their physical flagship boutique, which is located in the heart of London.
About Partech Ventures:
Founded in 1982 in Silicon Valley, Partech Ventures is a global investment firm with a team spread across offices in San Francisco, Paris and Berlin. Most Partners have been entrepreneurs themselves or have held management positions within tech companies. The partnership acts and invests as a single team, helping entrepreneurs build fast-growing tech and digital companies addressing large markets across multiple continents. Partech Ventures partners with entrepreneurs at the seed (Partech Entrepreneur), venture (Partech International) and/or growth (Partech Growth) stages. Companies backed by Partech Ventures have completed 21 initial public offerings and more than 50 major M&A transactions with leading international companies. Since 2012, the team has built a pioneering open-innovation platform fostering business development opportunities for both entrepreneurs and investors. Preqin, an independent global research firm, has ranked Partech Ventures as one of the ten most consistent venture capital firms in the world, and the only European VC in the top 25.
Follow Partech Ventures:
About Octopus Ventures:
Octopus Ventures is a London and New York based venture capital firm, focused on backing unusually talented entrepreneurs. We have been fortunate enough to work with the founding teams of over 60 companies, including Conversocial, graze.com, LoveFiLM, Property Partner, Secret Escapes, Sofar Sounds, SwiftKey, Swoon Editions, Uniplaces, tails.com, Zoopla Property Group and Zynstra.
We can invest from £250,000 to £25 million in a first round of funding and will look to follow in subsequent rounds. We are proud to be known as one of the most entrepreneur friendly investors in Europe. A significant part of our portfolio consists of referrals from teams we have already invested in or serial entrepreneurs who we have previously backed.
Octopus Ventures is part of the Octopus group, one of the UK’s fastest growing investment management companies with more than £6 billion of assets under management.