MBA ALUM BIZ CUSTOMMADE RECEIVES FUNDING FROM FIRST ROUND CAPITAL AND GOOGLE VENTURES
MBA alum biz CustomMade.com announced it has secured $2.1 million in a Series A round of financing.
MBA alum biz CustomMade.com, the first online peer-to-peer marketplace connecting shoppers with skilled artisans who create unique luxury custom goods including furniture, cabinetry and jewelry, announced it has secured $2.1 million in a Series A round of financing. The funding was led by First Round Capital and Google Ventures with participation from Founder Collective, Launch Capital, NextView Ventures, and Andrew McCollum, former co-founder of Facebook, and David Tisch of TechStars New York City, among other investors.
“CustomMade has taken the complexity out of the handcrafted luxury custom goods marketplace. What was once thought of as a cost and time prohibitive process can now be as turnkey as purchasing from a catalog retailer,” says CustomMade Co-Founder and CEO Mike Salguero M’10. “We believe that more and more consumers will choose to buy custom-made products from small businesses if we can make the process easy and enjoyable.”
CustomMade also unveiled today new site features that allow a shopper to post a custom project, receive proposals for their work from talented craftspeople across the country, and pay through CustomMade’s trusted and secure marketplace. CustomMade has gained tremendous momentum in recent months. In the last month alone, CustomMade has received more than $2 million in project requests posted to the site at an average price of $1,500 per job.
CustomMade will use the new funding to expand its team and operations so it can continue to take advantage of the tremendous and growing demand for custom and craft goods. According to CustomMade’s internal analysis, the US market alone spends $178 billion dollars for luxury durable goods each year, such as furniture, cabinetry and fine jewelry. CustomMade is changing the retail-buying paradigm in these market segments by allowing consumers to buy exactly what they want, custom made or customized, rather than being relegated to a traditional retail environment. CustomMade will also build out the site with features that allow customers to choose local or responsibly sourced products made to their exact specifications.
“By managing the complex transaction between craftsman and consumer, CustomMade delivers unprecedented access to high quality, personalized handcrafted goods. We have seen the power of personalization across our eCommerce portfolio and are excited to help CustomMade build the leading brand in this space,” said Phineas Barnes, principal at First Round Capital.
“Today, we see a large opportunity in technology platforms that can seamlessly connect consumers with the goods they want specifically designed for them,” said Rich Miner, partner at Google Ventures. “By combining local artisans - from the custom furniture maker in New Mexico to the jewelry designer in Austin - to millions of shoppers around the country, CustomMade serves the need of a growing marketplace and we look forward to working with them as they build their company and customer base.”
CustomMade.com provides a one-stop shop for craftsmen who don’t have the means to market themselves and shoppers who don’t know where or how to buy a custom made product. Consumers work directly with the craftsman instead of a salesperson, personalizing the end product and experience. The company’s long-term goal is to be the primary source for all things custom made. The site allows consumers to purchase finished items or browse galleries to connect them with local custom makers and design projects from scratch. For more information about CustomMade.com, visitwww.custommade.com.
About Google Ventures
Google Ventures is the venture capital arm of Google Inc. We seek to discover and help develop great companies, and believe in the power of entrepreneurs to do amazing things. Our investments range from seed to late stage, across a broad range of industries, including consumer Internet, digital media, software, hardware, and biotechnology. We embrace the challenge of helping young companies grow from the proverbial garage to global relevance. For more information, visit www.googleventures.com.
About First Round Capital
First Round Capital is a seed-stage venture capital firm dedicated to helping talented entrepreneurs build great companies. As seed-stage investors, we often provide a company’s first outside capital – and are not afraid of funding pre-revenue companies. First Round Capital’s portfolio is a community of web-enabled businesses led by entrepreneurs, guided by an active partnership and connected through a technology platform designed to support companies throughout their growth. The firm’s current portfolio includes companies like StumbleUpon, OneKingsLane, Bazaarvoice, Modcloth, RockMelt, Uber and Square. First Round Capital invests nationally with offices in San Francisco, New York and Philadelphia. To learn more visit www.firstround.com
By Michael Chmura, | 11/24/2011 12:00