LVMH to Majorly Invest in Lyst Upon New Round of Funding [Updated]

This could be the luxury conglomerate's latest effort in strategically boosting its digital innovation work.
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Photo: Imaxtree

Photo: Imaxtree

Lyst will announce a major investment from LVMH this week, according to a report from Sky News. The luxury conglomerate is leading a round of funding for the eight-year-old global fashion search platform, which allows online users to shop retailers, brands and styles all in one place. 

LVMH will allegedly raise between £50 million and £100 million "at a significant premium to the valuation of its last funding round." Since Lyst's launch, the company has acquired up to $60.5 million, says Crunchbase, and in 2015, Groupe Arnault, LVMH's biggest shareholder, helped raise $40 million alone.

The new investment could be the latest effort of LVMH's strategic attempt to boost its digital innovation work, including initiatives like 24 Sèvres and its new incubator program. If all goes to plan, LVMH is set to be the largest investor in Lyst, which will allow the online platform to compete with big-time e-commerce businesses, such as Farfetch and Yoox Net-a-Porter Group. Other digital luxury retailers aren't too far behind: Ssense recently acquired Polyvore and launched a multi-story flagship in Montreal, while MatchesFashion.com was sold for reportedly $1 billion to Apax Partners last year.

We reached out to a representative at Lyst for comment and will update this post as soon as we learn more.

UPDATE, May 24, 8:00 a.m.: On Thursday morning, Lyst officially announced its new round of financing, which will be led by LVMH and broken down into two equal parts. According to both BoF and market sources, raised funds, which are currently being finalized, will total $60 million, of which the luxury conglomerate will contribute about 45 percent.

"This is a time of transformational change in the fashion industry. The shift to digital has enabled Lyst to redefine how customers search and discover fashion online — today we're already among the top sources of new customers for our partners around the world," said Lyst Co-Founder and CEO Chris Morton in an official statement. "Our success to date is based on marrying cutting-edge technology with deep fashion expertise. We are thrilled that this will be further strengthened by our partnership with LVMH."

Since its most previous round of funding in 2015, Lyst's revenues have grown more than 400 percent. New investments will allow the global fashion search platform to expand internationally, grow its London and New York teams, as well as innovate its search and discovery capabilities through data science and heavily inspired by digital streaming platforms like Spotify. The company will plan to launch in Germany and Spain, says BoF.

"E-commerce now represents multi-billion Euro revenue and explosive growth for LVMH Maisons," said LVMH Chief Digital Officer Ian Rogers in an official statement. (Upon funding, Rogers will also join Lyst's board.) "As we continue to invest across the full spectrum of the online luxury experience, Lyst's vision for a seamless fashion search and discovery destination, coupled with its exceptional growth potential, provides us with a unique opportunity."

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