FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. –Piton Capital, the specialist marketplace investor, and Beringea, a private equity firm providing growth capital to market-leading businesses, have invested $10 million into Watchfinder, the UK’s leading pre-owned watch resale marketplace. The investment, which was funded by Piton and Beringea’s London office, Beringea LLP, will be used to broaden the company’s inventory and offering of luxury timepieces, roll out a multi-media marketing campaign and further fund the watch servicing center, as well as provide limited liquidity for existing shareholders.
Founded in 2002, Watchfinder is the leader in UK pre-owned luxury watches, selling luxury brands such as Rolex, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Breitling, Omega, and Patek Philippe, as well as rare and vintage models. In addition to its extensive online marketplace, the company operates a flagship boutique in London.
Watchfinder also operates a certified servicing center where the company’s expert technicians use manufacturer-approved machinery to service timepieces. Every watch repair and refurbishment is followed by testing for accuracy, efficiency and water resistance, ensuring that each watch falls within the manufacturer’s specified tolerance before being returned to its owner or sold.
Stuart Hennell, Founder and CEO of Watchfinder, commented: “We at Watchfinder are very proud of the business we’ve created over the past decade, and the level of trust we’ve earned from our customers. After considering a number of strategic options for the future, we are delighted to be taking on investment from Beringea and Piton, with whom we have a shared vision for the future. Their combined expertise in ecommerce, retail, and international markets should be a great asset.”
Karen McCormick, partner and investment director for Beringea, commented: “Watchfinder has become the most trusted retailer for authentic, pre-owned luxury timepieces in the UK, and is uniquely able to offer manufacturer-quality servicing to back up their warranty.”
Greg Lockwood of Piton added: “Over the past 12 years, Watchfinder has really figured out how to make the secondary market for fine watches work, and this is reflected in their outstanding track record of growth and profitability. We’re excited to partner with this strong and well-respected company.”
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Since 2002, Watchfinder & Co. has provided a modern, prestigious service for people investing in fine watches. Watchfinder.co.uk is where WF&Co. finds its origins and is one of the most visited watch-related websites in the world with over 4.4 million unique visitors a year. The first bricks-and-mortar store was opened in 2013 and today accounts for 20% of sales, which total over £120 million since inception.
The company delivers the ultimate customer experience, providing consumers with a superior way to buy brands such as Rolex, Omega, Breitling, TAG Heuer, Longines and Cartier. Every watch received undergoes a strict and rigorous screening at the in-house service center, ensuring that each item meets the highest standard possible before sale. Due to this, each timepiece is given a twelve month warranty as a testament to its excellent working order.
Beringea, LLC provides equity and/or mezzanine debt to small- and-middle market companies. The Firm, which includes Michigan-based Beringea, LLC and its London, UK office Beringea LLP, invests in portfolio companies operating in a range of sectors, including health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, media and specialized consumer products.
With flexible capital solutions, extensive investing experience and offices in the U.S. and UK, Beringea’s team offers its portfolio companies the resources to grow their businesses and create value for stakeholders. For more information, visit www.beringea.com.
In the United States of America, Beringea operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor, Beringea, LLC. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Beringea LLP, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Beringea LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with company number OC342919, and its registered office is at 39 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9LT, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Beringea’s potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.
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