Swoon Editions makes a handsome debut with £4m funding

Swoon Editions founders Debbie Williamson and Brian Harrison

Swoon Editions, the ‘new design every day’ online furniture business announces £4 million Series A funding round to expand its business in the UK.

The investment will be used to grow Swoon Editions’ community of ‘insiders’ (interior-savvy people signed up to their email list) as well as increasing the number of designs launched each week. The team has grown from three to 36 in the past 12 months and an additional 20 roles will be created across a range of disciplines, primarily in the London head office, and also in Vietnam, India and China.

Octopus Investments led the round with additional investment from Index Ventures. The transaction is a follow-on from a seed round of £1.2 million in May 2013.

Founded in March 2012, Swoon Editions slices through traditional supply chains to connect consumers with quality furniture manufacturers and artisan makers around the world, cutting out costs and passing savings on to customers. Their quality control guardians check every single piece of furniture at the workshop before it is shipped direct to customers’ homes. 

Brian Harrison, CEO and Co-founder said: “We believe people should be able to own beautiful furniture without paying six times what it costs to make. We cut out unnecessary retail overheads and gain further efficiencies by only producing pieces we know are in demand. In the past year we have tested every aspect of our business model, rapidly growing our base of suppliers, designers, customers and industry style watchers. We are delighted that this has inspired our original investors to provide additional capital to accelerate our growth.”   

Debbie Williamson, Co-founder added: “Swoon Editions previews a limited edition design every day to a growing community of Insiders who have signed up for their daily launch email. Insiders provide us with real time sales feedback on a particular design before it goes into full production. We spend lots of time identifying the best manufacturers and have built an operation that creates prototype products to test demand very quickly, scaling production on only the most popular pieces. Customers are responding really positively and we are thrilled that our existing investors have decided to support us further to expand the business."

Simon Andrews, a member of the Ventures team at Octopus, said: "Swoon Editions co-founders Brian and Debbie have built a model that puts customers at the heart of their business. Critically they have done this with sound economic principles and are executing at pace. This additional investment will enable them to really kick on from the great year they have just had."

“Swoon Editions has created a new experience for consumers interested in buying high-quality, beautifully crafted furniture. It’s almost like you’re right there with the world’s best makers on the workshop floor,” said Robin Klein, partner at Index Ventures.

He added, “Customers provide direct feedback on the items they’re interested in buying, get limited-edition products designed to the highest standards and delivered straight to their door. By working with the manufacturers directly and ordering items before they’re made, customers don’t pay for all the extras that would normally inflate the price. We like how Swoon Editions has used a vertically integrated business model, shortening the supply chain to benefit the consumer.”

Published — July 21, 2014