The luxury watch industry a multi-billion euro sector, according to the company, which noted online sales account for just one to two per cent of the market – making it the fastest-growing industry segment. That, of course, means the timing looks right for Chronext to thrive.
2013-founded Chronext acts as a platform where new and used luxury watches can be bought, sold and serviced at “fair prices”. That fairness will likely help encourage would-be customers to get involved as the ecommerce portion of the industry prepares for growth.
Launched out of Switzerland, the company grew revenues by 380 per cent year-on-year between December 2014 and 2015. Chronext values, meanwhile, revolve around security and customer service as an in-house workshop verifies authenticity of timepieces.
Will Gibbs, Octopus Ventures, said: “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.”
Octopus’ investment comes after the firm led an £8m round in private aviation firm Stratajet in May. With more than 15,000 products available online, Chronext boasts a London boutique where consumers can visit to browse and collect items.
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The €11m financing round from Made.com investor Partech and Secret Escapes investor Octopus will be used for growth in the UK, Germany and internationally. Existing investors Capnamic Ventures, NRW.BANK and InVenture Partners also contributed to the round.
Chronext co-founder and CEO Philipp Man said the capital and support from its partners will help the business “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”, added Olivier Schuepbach, general partner of Partech.
“The incredible pace at which the company grew till now and the successful start of internationalisation beyond Germany were also key considerations for us to invest in Chronext.”
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