Turkish online furniture platform Vivense secures $130 million investment, plans expansion to UK

Turkish online furniture platform has secured $130 million investment from the local private equity firm Actera Group, the Istanbul-based startup announced in a statement on Tuesday. The investment also includes secondary sale by early investors including Berlin-based Earlybird Venture Capital and New York-based FJ Labs. Both the investors have apparently fully exited the startup. Earlybird was also an early investor in Peak Game, the Turkish mobile gaming startup Peak that was acquired by Zynga for $1.8 billion, last month.

The statement does not have any details on how much stake Actera Group has acquired as a result of this transaction (but generally speaking, private equity firms invest to acquire a majority stake in the companies they invest in).

Founded in 2013 by Kemal Erol, Vivense’s online platform sells furniture all over Turkey. The platform is complemented by Vivense’s 53 experience centers (small showrooms) across the country that employ interior designers to help customers make their purchase decisions. The startup sources furniture from about 500 manufacturers in Turkey and claims to have served over 1 million households in almost seven years of its existence.

Vivense manages the entire sales cycle with fulfillment centers spread over a total area of 50,000 squarer-meters its own last-mile delivery teams (with branded vehicles) who also assemble the furniture for customers. The platform sells tens of thousands of products in across different categories of home furniture.

Kemal Erol, Vivense’s founder & CEO, who previously led Rocket Internet’s furniture venture Westwing in Turkey, commenting on the occasion, said, “We’re very excited and proud to have received this investment from Actera. The fact that we share our vision of turning Vivense into a globally inspiring, innovative, and professional home and lifestyle brand, with Actera, makes the investment very meaningful.”

He also explained that the investment will be used to further strengthen their logistics and delivery infrastructure and development of technology, “With new investments in our ecommerce platform, we want to improve the experience we offer to our customers. We continue to increase the number of our showrooms and sales points. We want to bring everyone to the Vivense experience more easily physically and digitally.”

The Turkish startup after its successful run in the local market has is now looking to expand globally starting with the United Kingdom where it’s opening its first showroom in September later this year which will be followed with the launch of its online platform next year.

The CEO of Vivense in a statement explained that they want to take their Turkish product range global by using the hybrid of ecommerce platform and showrooms which has been a crucial part of their success in Turkey.

A representative from Actera, which according to the statement is the largest Turkish private equity firm with over $3.3 billion of assets under management (AUM), said, “Vivense is an innovative company that has pioneered in digitalization in the furniture industry by using technology effectively and has been growing very fast. We believe that the continued strong growth Vivense Turkey’s leading home and furniture brand will be very successful on a global scale especially because of company’s strong business model.”

The note by Actera also explained that Turkey’s strength in the manufacturing of furniture and home categories combined with Vivense’s brand will help a great deal in the global expansion, “We believe that the Vivense team can do more of what they have done so far on a global scale.”

Vivense according to publicly available data had raised close to $20 million before this investment in multiple rounds. Most of these rounds were led by Earlybird.

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