Interior design startup Eporta has nabbed $8m (£5.7m) in funding from an impressive list of venture capital firms and angel investors.
London-based Eporta, which acts as a business-to-business marketplace where interior designers and offices can buy furniture from manufacturers directly, pulled in the cash in a series A round led by US firm Canvas Ventures.
LocalGlobe, Oxford Capital Partners, Talis Capital and Samos Ventures also contributed, along with angel investors including private equity personality Guy Hands, Betfair co-founder Ed Wray, Sofa.com founder Rohan Blacker, Zoopla co-founder Simon Kain and Achica.com founder Will Cooper.
“During my time at Zoopla I bought a flat in Brixton and was basically struggling to find furniture for it,” said Eporta founder Aneeqa Khan, who oversaw the £919m float of Zoopla in her previous job.
“I realised that the reason I was finding it so difficult wasn't because there aren't great pieces out there. It's actually because it's really hard for people to find those great pieces or for the people who make the pieces to find trade buyers. So I decided to solve that problem.”
Manchester-born Khan previously worked in private equity, starting her career working for Guy Hands and later joining CVC Capital Partners as their youngest hire.
Already her latest venture has served businesses such as The Hilton Hotel Group, Accenture, Ted Baker, and Charlotte Tilbury.
Eporta now plans to more than double its team of 28 in Clerkenwell, set up its first office outside the UK and expand into other areas such as fabrics, bathrooms and surfaces.
The platform currently boasts more than 1,000 sellers in 55 countries and over 10,000 buyers in 85 countries. It is free for buyers to join and best price is guaranteed – according to Khan, customers can expect to see up to 50 per cent knocked off normal retail pricing.
Yet the business is "highly selective" when choosing its suppliers, with 90 per cent of applicants being rejected.
“We backed Eporta initially because of our confidence in Aneeqa, and it's been rewarding to see that confidence pay off. Aneeqa is one of the smartest entrepreneurs we have worked with, and has grown an impressive team with a strong culture and vision," said Oxford Capital's Tom Bradley.