Trouva, an online marketplace that serves as home for offline boutiques, has raised $10 million in a series A round of funding led by BGF Ventures, with participation from Index Ventures and Octopus Investments, among other return investors.
Founded out of London initially as Streethub, Trouva launched in 2015 as a centralized hub for smaller independent merchants to showcase their wares to online shoppers, including men and women’s fashion, homewares, and more.
Online marketplaces are key components of the “digital economy,” with well-known companies such as Uber, Amazon, and Airbnb building billion-dollar businesses through connecting buyers with sellers. The concept has infiltrated all manner of industries, and we’ve seen some significant investments in marketplaces covering logistics, local buy-and-sell platforms, niche online auction houses, recruitment, arts and crafts communities, and more.
At the time of writing, Trouva curates more than 350 shops from across the U.K., and through its platform the company offers a number of features that will be familiar to online shoppers from elsewhere, including click-and-collect, one-hour deliveries, and global shipping. Essentially, Trouva offers smaller merchants Amazon-style ecommerce toolsets without having to build their own infrastructure. But Trouva only works with brick-and-mortar retailers, a key differentiator over others in the space such as Etsy, and it insists that it is very selective about who gets to sell on the platform.
“We have to believe that they are truly amazing independents, run by great curators with a strong identity,” explained company cofounder Mandeep Singh. “We want Trouva to become the global destination for the best independent shops in the greatest cities in the world. Whether we’re talking about Montmartre in Paris, Shibuya in Tokyo, or Shoreditch in London, the greatest independents will be united on our global platform.”
Prior to now, Trouva had raised $3.8 million, and with its fresh cash injection, it plans to develop its software platform for merchants in the U.K., with plans to ultimately bring the service to Europe and the U.S. The company is also looking to establish a new hub in Lisbon, Portugal, as it triples its technology team.