Trouva’s platform showcases brick-and-mortar boutiques selling “beautiful” and elusive trinkets. Funding was led by Octopus Ventures, C4 Ventures and Downing Ventures. Also participating were BGF and LocalGlobe. This round brought the total raised to about $36 million. The valuation was not disclosed.
The Trouva marketplace was co-founded in 2015 by Mandeep Singh, Alex Loizou and Glen Walker. Their goal was to offer an eCommerce site with “easy access to a high-quality selection of unique, hard-to-find homewares, hand-picked by the world’s best curators,” its website indicated.
The new funding will be used to expand the company beyond the U.K. and to build out technology around inventory and logistics. Trouva rolled out in Berlin last year.
Unlike eCommerce giant Amazon, which sells a lot of everything, Trouva focuses on small, unique specialists.
“We are very picky,” Singh told the news outlet in an interview. “We have to turn down the majority of applications from stores that want to sell on our site. We are looking for the very best curators. Having every single vase in the world is less important than having the best one, curated by an expert.”
Platforms like Amazon have changed how people shop, but independent retailers are often largely left on the sidelines. Singh describes these shop owners as “curators” who appeal to selective customers with money to spend.
He added that there are over 20,000 independent shops in the U.K. – “and we are working with 500 of the very best.”
October retail spending was up 0.6 percent in the U.K. compared to October 2018, in spite of the turmoil over Brexit and the upcoming general election. This is the greatest growth since April and more than the 0.1 percent increase in the 12 months leading up to October.