OnBuy secures £35m in series A funding to fuel global expansion and hit unicorn status

The UK online marketplace, OnBuy has secured a series A+ funding of £35 million through VC and strategic technology investors, putting the firm well on the way to achieving unicorn status.

OnBuy launched to the scene in 2016 with the mission of disrupting the eCommerce space and take on industry giants such as Amazon and eBay by ‘levelling the playing field’ for sellers looking to move to the online selling space.

The business has since attracted more than 7,000 retailers and plays host to some 36 million products on the platform. The Bournemouth-based company has aimed to make itself at ease with retailers, vowing never to compete with them, but ‘offer a fairer marketplace’ to host brands and products.

In just four years, OnBuy has grown to £155 million annualised GMV with only £8 million in total investment until now. The series A+ fundraising will now fuel further growth for the firm who has its sights firmly on achieving unicorn status in the coming years.

Significant input comes from players including Bring Ventures, Norway Post venture arm, Fuel Ventures, Guy Hands (founder and chairman of Terra Firma Capital Partners), Knut Frängsmyr (Deputy CEO of Klarna) and Richard Goulding (founder of Play.com) among other strategic investors.

In addition to external investment, a fully funded £2M allocation was set aside for existing retailers currently using the platform. This funding will enable OnBuy to further develop its product offering for both sellers and consumers and importantly, pursue global expansion.

Prior to this investment round, OnBuy raised £5m in funding led by Fuel Ventures following an exceptional period of growth through the first half of 2020. This investment allowed OnBuy to expand its leadership team and enter a fruitful phase of development and further growth.

Cas Paton, founder and CEO of OnBuy, said: “The global eCommerce market is expected to total $4.2 trillion* by the end of 2021, a figure that is set to grow even more over the next few years, however it’s alarming to see that the industry is still following the same detrimental and unfair marketplace model that has existed for years.

“I created OnBuy to provide something unique: a clear, level playing field – and in our four years of rapid growth, it’s clear to see that this is a model that works to everyone’s advantage.

“This investment will allow us to unlock even more potential and take OnBuy to the next level with an even better, easier to use product than ever before. We’ve made it this far with the help of our early angels, amazing team, trusted retailers and of course all of our amazing customers, but we’re not nearly done yet. We’re here to make noise, challenge the status quo and change the digital marketplace landscape forever.”

Thomas Tscherning, Bring Ventures, EVP Norway Post, added: “OnBuy has experienced tremendous growth and we believe the company has a very promising future ahead. We look forward to being a part of OnBuy’s continued growth through this venture investment that we believe will strengthen our portfolio of e-commerce activities.”

Knut Frängsmyr said: “Having watched OnBuy for some time, I’ve continuously been impressed and inspired by how they put their customers first – buyers and sellers. In an ever-changing landscape, sometimes simplicity and fairness will prevail. The growth opportunities ahead for OnBuy and the team are tremendous, and I am thrilled to be invited to join this journey.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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