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Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures Co-leads SecretSales Financing Round
13/02/2012

SecretSales, the leading independent private shopping club in the UK, announced today that it has secured an investment of £6.3 Million from a syndicate of institutional investors. This new funding will allow the Company to expand significantly in the UK through all areas of the business, with emphasis on sourcing, marketing and technology.

SecretSales was launched in the UK in 2007 to help brands clear excess inventory through short online sales campaigns, which are promoted daily to a private members audience. SecretSales is the channel partner of choice in the UK for over 650 individual brands across fashion, accessories, home wares, travel and other lifestyle categories. The Company boasts almost 2 million engaged members in the UK and over 50 staff located in Notting Hill, London.

The investment round was led by Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, Pentech Ventures and OCP Innovation (a fund managed by Partech) and included Connect Ventures, Leoni Sceti Group and the management team. Clipperton Finance UK managed the transaction process.

Nish Kukadia, CEO, and Sach Kukadia, Buying Director, are joined by fellow shareholder Sergio Dias, formerly CEO of brands4friends.de, as Executive Chairman.

The private sales club model has created some amazing companies in continental Europe and in the US, but the UK is still an opportunity,” said Ivan Farneti, Partner at Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures. “We believe the team at SecretSales has done a great job so far with limited resources. We have now provided a solid financial platform to allow SecretSales to dominate this fast-growing market.

"We decided to invest in SecretSales because of its market leadership position in the UK and strong management team," said Craig Anderson, Partner at Pentech Ventures.  "The performance and growth of SecretSales since its creation less than five years ago has been very impressive and we believe it is poised to benefit significantly from the rapid growth in the online private sales club market in the UK."

Having known the SecretSales team and particularly Sergio Dias through our investment in brands4friends.de, we value and trust their vision,” said Andreas Schlenker, Partner at Partech. “Combined with our portfolio experience of brands4friends.de and its successful exit to eBay, the strong traction of brands4friends.jp and VentealaPropriete.com in France, we firmly believe we have the right skills and resources to assist SecretSales with their growth objectives.

With tremendous year-on-year growth, at SecretSales we quietly pride ourselves on being a genuinely relevant, long-term partner for brands and great consumer business. We are excited to work alongside a diverse blend of seasoned investors to realise our strategic growth plan, each bringing qualified experience ranging from ecommerce, technology, marketing and branding, as well as a deep global network of contacts. This round is a great endorsement of our vision and growth prospects,” states Nish Kukadia, CEO of SecretSales.

Continues Sergio Dias, Executive Chairman of SecretSales, “I am delighted to join forces with such an incredible team of experienced investors and dynamic and focused management. I look forward to using my experience as CEO of brands4friends.de in helping the team realise its full potential.

Co-founders Michael Cody and Silvia Cody are stepping down from their active roles within the Company and remain shareholders.

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