Online luxury watch retailer WatchBox on Tuesday (Nov. 23) announced it had closed a $165 million fundraising round for equity capital that it plans to use to scale its digital platform, expand into new geographic markets and boost its inventory.
The Radcliff Companies and The Spruce House Partnership led the WatchBox funding, with CMIA Capital Partners and existing investors, including NBA stars Giannis Antetokounmpo, Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Karl Anthony Towns, as well as other entrepreneurs and executives also contributing.
“We are proud to welcome Radcliff and Spruce House to the WatchBox family,” said Justin Reis, WatchBox co-founder and Global CEO. “Our investors and partners hail from a wide range of industries, from consumer to technology, finance and professional sports, yet we are all bound by our love of watches.
Reis added that when founding WatchBox, the vision was to build a brand “that would engender trust so that we could unite a passionate network of enthusiasts.”
“With that foundation, we are now able to use technology to create the best customer experience in the industry,” he said.
Warby Parker CTO Jeff Saunders, The Radcliff Companies Co-founder Eli Goldstein and Associated Partners managing partner David Berkman have joined WatchBox’s board of directors as part of the latest fundraising round.
“We are reshaping the way high-value luxury is transacted online,” said Reis. “We built our proprietary concierge platform to enable efficiency and scale as we build personal connections with collectors around the world.
“We have an incredible group of dedicated people at WatchBox and, as we reach major milestones such as this one, I feel especially grateful to our team who have all contributed to our growth and success to date,” he said.
Vidyuth Srinivasan, CEO of high-value goods authentication platform Entrupy, told PYMNTS in a recent interview that counterfeits are a $3 trillion problem for the retail industry, “and it’s only growing every day.” Entrupy set out to create a “scalable and repeatable” tool powered by artificial intelligence to help identify fakes and provide labels for those authenticated as real, not just on eCommerce sites but across all physical goods.
“We want to be sort of like the Verisign of physical goods,” Srinivasan said. “We need to work with everybody … and that’s how we look at authentication or building trust as a tool.”