With seven weeks to go for holiday shopping, the e-commerce platform Cured aims to help you find the perfect pair of skis or golf clubs and is attracting additional capital to expand its offering. Following a hefty $ 39 million Series B announced in April, the company secured a $ 75 million Series C in a round led by CapitalG.
Joining Capital G in the round are existing investors Forerunner Ventures, who first joined during the $ 22 million Series A round in 2019 and Greylock. The latest round gives the company a total funding of $ 141.5 million.
Eduardo Vivas, Curated co-founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that the new round was unexpected as investor interest increased, driven in part by the company’s 300% year-over-year growth.
The company was co-founded in 2017 by Vivas, Peter Ombres, Alex Vauthey, and Annabel Liu, who had previously worked together on LinkedIn. They realized how transactional shopping online was and how difficult it is to find the right product amid thousands of product options.
With the US e-commerce market poised to reach its first trillion dollars in 2022, the company developed a network of more than 1,000 experts who are paid to provide their knowledge, providing an in-person shopping experience online to assist with the purchase of high-regard products, initially sports equipment for skiing, golf, camping , walking and biking.
Here’s how it works: Consumers answer a few questions about the products they are looking for and cross-check them with a category expert who provides a list of personalized recommendations and sends a text message or phone call to guide the consumer to the right product. . , which the consumer can purchase directly from Curated.com.
“The shopping journey is about having fun,” Vivas told TechCrunch. “You enjoy the process as much as imagining what you’re going to get. It used to be the old cliché that men don’t like to shop, but in reality, everyone can be obsessed with the shopping process, but the ability to talking to someone who is brilliant is what we bring to life “.
The company is working with retail brands including Callaway Golf, The North Face, Rossignol and Burton. More than 1 million people have already used the tool to buy and Vivas touts a rate of return close to 0% compared to between 10% and 30%, on average, of online shopping experiences.
Meanwhile, the new funding will be used to double the company’s 100-person team and go to R&D so it can expand into new categories. Curated has eight categories today, and Vivas intends to roll out 15-20 more next year, including coffee and household items like barbecues.
CapitalG Interest introduced the Curated team to General Partner Laela Sturdy, who joins the Curated board as part of the investment.
“She is one of the most special people in the world and after meeting her, I knew I wanted to do business with her,” Vivas said. “This fundraiser was the right thing to do, albeit unexpected, for the purpose of accelerating to more high-end purchasing categories.”
Sturdy, after experiencing the company for herself, said customer feedback was one of the first things that drew her to the company. He realized that people “were feeling love for the product, and that is very important.”
Curated was also differentiating itself by investing in a technology platform that identifies, integrates, and connects experts with consumers. In fact, many of the experts Sturdy spoke to said they were excited about the prospect of getting paid to talk about the things they love.
“You can rarely see that on both sides,” he added. “The experience is like nothing, so Curated has to be one of the transformative ecommerce companies of our generation.”