3i invests 5.75m in exclusive online shopping community BuyVIP

19 Jul 2007

3i, world-leading private equity and venture capital firm, has invested €5.75m in a second round of financing of pan-European e-commerce community BuyVIP. This brings total investment raised by the Madrid based business to €7m. Additional investors participating in the financing included the European Founders Fund, angel investor Michael Kleindl and MCI (Molins Capital inversión S.C.R. S.A.), advised by ACP (Active Capital Partners).

BuyVIP is an exclusive closed community, which members join exclusively by personal referral. Limited stocks of famous brand lifestyle and fashion products are offered at discounted prices through fixed period sales campaigns.

The business, founded in Madrid in 2006, launched its German website in the same year and most recently established its Italian offering in early 2007. BuyVIP has become the leading pan-European e-commerce community, having attracted 500,000 members to date with impressive growth of 70,000 members and over 40 campaigns each month. Its campaigns offer luxury branded products from Joop, DKNY, Apple, Alessi, Mandarina Duck, Nike, Puma and Columbia and many others.

„Through this investment, we are very much looking forward to advancing BuyVIP’s business in Germany, Italy and Spain“, commented Christian Siegele, Partner at 3i Germany. „Founders Gustavo Garcia and Gerald Heydenreich have successfully proven the growth potential of their idea and have created an impressive business very rapidly. The business model enables manufacturers to reach their target group via controlled and exclusive campaigns. The growth of the large German market will be a particular focus for the business in the future.“

Gustavo Garcia, CEO of BuyVIP, added: „We are very pleased with this recognition from our investor group as it demonstrates that we have developed our business in the right way. „In 3i, we have a proven expert, both in the areas of e-commerce and more traditional retail and branded goods. This, together with its international network of contacts, will provide BuyVIP with an additional boost. Now, we can approach even more luxury brands with our business proposition and strengthen our consumer marketing.“ 

Notes to editors

About BuyVip
BuyVIP is a private community that grows exclusively through personal sponsorship and recommendations. Members of this exclusive community have the opportunity, via personal invitation, to participate in sales campaigns that run for a limited time and involve limited quantities of selected life-style or fashion products and brands.

The products are generally limited-edition items, ones not available in speciality shops in Germany, or off-season products or stock-overs. Members can purchase these items at attractive prices, generally 30 to 70 per cent below the retail sales price. BuyVIP also serves as a platform for the launch of new brands and products. Registered members have the chance to test new products and provide feedback to businesses prior to official product launches. For additional information, please visit www.buyvip.com/info

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital.  We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital, Venture Capital, Infrastructure and Quoted Private Equity (“QPE”) and invest across Europe, the United States and Asia.  Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our business relationships.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.
3i’s Venture Capital partners focus on investing in scaleable early to late stage technology and healthcare businesses on a global basis. The business currently manages investments across Europe, US, Asia and Israel, valued at around $1bn. 3i VC plans to invest $1.5bn funds over the next five years in exciting and ambitious companies in three main areas: healthcare (medtech and speciality pharma), IT (Internet, digital media, enterprise IT and semiconductors) and the clean technology sector.   For more information, go to: http://www.3i.com

For further information please contact:

Rachel Richards
email. rachel.richards@3i.com
tel.  +44 207 975 3573