12 December 2016

eEquity invests in Swap.com – market leader for pre-owned clothing in the US

eEquity, a leading investor in Nordic Internet and Internet retailing companies, is today announcing that eEquity III leads an investment round of EUR 19 million in the Finnish company Swap.com Services Oy which is the largest online consignment store in the US. Swap.com will now make significant investments in marketing to build the brand awareness, strengthen the organisation and develop the warehouse, fulfilment and IT systems further.

eEquity invests EUR 16 million in Swap.com together with one of its investors, the remaining amount EUR 3 million is invested by existing shareholders. Swap.com has since it started 2013 grown by 180% yearly and was recently recognised by Internet Retailer as one of the Hot 100 innovative e-tailers in the industry.

Pre-owned clothing is a fast growing segment where the addressable market is estimated at USD 108 billion. Today, 85% of all pre-owned clothing is thrown away, closer to 12 billion tonnes yearly according to United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Dr. Juha Koponen, CEO & Co-Founder Swap.com comments:
“As an industry, we are only scratching the surface. There is a staggering amount of unused, pre-owned merchandise with an estimated value of more than one hundred billion dollars annually. And while there is a large demand for second-hand items, the merchandise has not been moving mostly because there has not been a practical nor convenient way to purchase these items online. With more than 30% of Americans shopping thrift and consignment stores each year, we have an incredible opportunity to make an impact. With the support of eEquity as specialists on Internet retailing, I look forward to really scale the business under profitability and enhance our position as market leader. ”

Patrik Hedelin Partner eEquity comments:
“We are very proud to invest in Swap.com and its outstanding management team that we believe have a unique opportunity to become a category killer in the US. We further believe strongly in the strength of the value proposition of swap contributing to increasing the quality of life for the average American combined with being environmental friendly. 30% of the US population is living on minimum wage and 70 % are working pay check to pay check and on the same time they throw away 30 kg of clothing every year. We are intrigued by the opportunity to do something good for society and to apply our knowledge and experience from 10 other internet retailing companies in Europe to together with a very impressive management team build Swap.com as a market leader in the US.”

Swap.com was founded by Juha Koponen and Jussi Koskinen. Other members of the management team include Kelly Norris, Chief Operating Officer, with experience from Zappos and Amazon and Rich Lesparance, Chief Marketing Officer, with experience from Walgreens.com and Grubhub.com.

eEquity has specialised in investing growth capital to fast growing Internet companies. eEquity has previously invested in WhiteAway, whitegoods online, and took the company from DKK 150 million to 1 022 million in 3.5 years, and made 4.5x in multiple of invested capital. eEquity has also invested in other leading online retailers such as Footway, RoyalDesign, Caliroots, Kidsbrandstore and Eleven. eEquity normally invests in companies with EUR 5-20 million in sales with the ambition to build them to EUR +100 million in sales during profitability. eEquity raised its third fund of SEK 710 million (EUR 75 million) in September 2015 and Swap.com is its fourth investment. eEquity invests EUR 19 million in Swap together with one its investors and 3 million from existing investors.

eEquity is also lead investor in Vaadin with part of the management team based in San José, CA with US representing the 60% of the business opportunity. Vaadin is behind the popular open source web application development tools and framework used by around 40% of the Fortune 100 companies and over 150 000 developers globally.

Swap.com is the first Internet retailing investment that eEquity undertakes directed at the US market.

For further questions:
eEquity Partner Patrik Hedelin
+46 70 545 2889
patrik.hedelin@eequity.se

Swap.com CEO Juha Koponen
+1 630 750 7434
juha@swap.com

About eEquity

eEquity is the leading private equity company investing growth capital in e-commerce and online companies in the Nordic countries. eEquity has invested in the online sector since inception in 2010 and is managing three funds with USD 135 million with currently 12 companies in the portfolio. eEquity invests in entrepreneurial led growth companies with the potential to become market leaders. eEquity is backed by European leading family offices and financial institutions. eEquity is managed by Patrik Hedelin and Magnus Wiberg that are experienced internet entrepreneurs themselves with experience from boo.com and Pricerunner.

About Swap.com

Swap.com, recently recognized by Internet Retailer as one of the Hot 100 innovative e-tailers in the industry, is the largest online consignment shop with more than 1.5 million unique items. The company strives to redefine consignment services by making the process of buying and selling pre-owned goods more convenient, safe and profitable. Preventing waste by saving pre-owned clothes and accessories from ending up in landfills, shoppers can feel good about the purchases they make on Swap.com. Offering clothes, accessories, toys and games for babies, children, women and men, Swap.com is a one-stop shop the whole family can enjoy. Swap.com is based in Chicago and Bolingbrook, Illinois. The service was launched in 2012.