Downing invests £3m in Xupes

Xupes, a family-owned luxury e-commerce business, has secured £3 million of growth capital from Venture Capital Trust manager, Downing LLP.

Xupes was set up by son-father team, Joe and Frank McKenzie, in 2009. It initially specialised in the resale of high-end watches, art and antiques, and has since expanded to include jewellery and handbags, as well as becoming an accredited Cartier and Omega servicing centre. The business has grown rapidly since Joe started out in the comfort of his living room in Hertfordshire and it now has a 25-strong team managing the online store and providing expert restoration to products.

The multi-million pound funding from Downing managed funds will be invested in IT infrastructure, additional staff and further diversification of its product range in response to growing customer and product demand.

The e-commerce market has developed considerably in recent years, helped by an improved level of customer trust in online shopping and security. Further, the global market for luxury items has grown quickly, with sales of luxury watches expected to have grown at a rate of 5% p.a. between 2006 and 2016 and sales of leather goods (of which handbags are a key component) expected to have grown by 10% in the same period1. Xupes currently has over 6,000 items in stock and in excess of 11,000 customers, having grown from 2,000 items in stock and 4,500 members in just three years.

In addition to the online store, Xupes has a showroom located in stunning period premises at Wickham Hall, Bishops Stortford. Here customers can browse Xupes’ collection in person. A concierge service is also available for clients requiring assistance in locating particular items. The Xupes team works alongside collectors, boutiques and auction houses all over the world to source such items.

Xupes co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Joe McKenzie, commented:

“We’re confident that our market will continue to flourish led, in part, by an improved level of trust in internet purchases and greater appreciation of the importance of recycling timeless fashion and collectibles.”

James Lewis, Investment Director, Downing LLP, added:

“From the moment we met the Xupes team, we were impressed by their entrepreneurial spirit – an ethos shared by Downing. What’s great about this funding support is that it will allow the Xupes business to grow without compromising its core qualities, such as its exceptional quality of service.”

 

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