Just over a week ago, MADE completed a hefty £40 million fundraising round. With its turnover jumping 50% in 2016 to £91m, the company has cemented its position as one of Britain’s leading e-commerce startups, and a minor household name. (Thanks in no small part to a pervasive ad campaign in London’s underground).
The funding seems to have come in part to help plug pre-tax losses of £6.1m last year. These were incurred chiefly from expansion on the continent, but in the UK MADE has finally turned a profit, marking a “significant moment in the group’s evolution” (so says the CEO).
The business operates on a simple model – display products from featured designers on their website, which potential buyers can peruse at leisure. Once purchased, MADE outsources the manufacture of these designs and delivers the final product to the customer. Through this, they are able to connect customer directly with the designer. By anticipating which products will be in demand when, they are also able to cut costs on warehouse storage, bringing the price of their featured products down.
This latest funding comes off the back of a $60m equity injection back in July 2015. Two years isn’t so bad to burn through what converts to around £40m, and the latest stash will be used to help consolidate the company’s ongoing ventures in Europe.
In 2017, MADE opened showrooms in Berlin and Paris, and they’ve been well established in France for several years. (Despite being headquartered in London, all the founders are French). Expansions into Germany and Italy have also fared well, according to their PR.
In 2013, at just three years old, the company joined the first cohort of Tech City UK’s prestigious Future Fifty accelerator programme, which was co-launched by George Osborne. Other alumni include Deliveroo, Transferwise and Shazam.
Eight Road Ventures and Partech Ventures teamed up to lead both the company’s recent investment rounds. Over the past year, Eight Road have invested into several other up-and-coming British tech companies, including Duco (fintech), DoctorLink (healthtech) and, of course, Deliveroo. Partech, meanwhile, recently ploughed some cash into Drover, an exciting new car-subscription startup who are well worth looking into.
MADE says that in 2017, their turnover increased by 40% to £127m. Pretty good, seeing as they only started up in 2010. We will have to wait till the release of their full financials to see how close they are to turning an overall profit. Even if it it takes another couple of years, MADE has already established itself as an impressive force for innovation in Britain’s commercial scene.