Design Marketplace Minted raises $208 million Series E funding to fuel expansion
Minted, a venture-backed design marketplace that crowdsources graphic designs and content from a global design community, has closed $208 in million Series E financing to expand into new channels and reach more consumers. The investments were led by Permira’s Brian Ruder, Co-Head of Technology and Partner, and T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.’s Henry Ellenbogen, portfolio manager of T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund. Prior to its Series E, Minted had raised $91 million from Ridge Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures, and Menlo Ventures. To date, Minted has raised over $297.1 million in funding over 6 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Dec 14, 2018 from a Series E round, according to publicly available funding data.
Founded in 2007 by Mariam Naficy and Melissa Kim, Minted is a social commerce and design marketplace that connects users to the world’s best independent artists to create something one-of-a-kind. The company’s art, stationery, and textiles products have reached over 40 million homes worldwide. Minted is funded by Benchmark Capital, IDG Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures, and Norwest Venture Partners, along with angels Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp, and Yishan Wong, CEO of Reddit.
Using its tech-enabled crowdsourcing model, consumers are empowered to vote for the designs they love and want to see sold, ensuring that Minted always sells continuously fresh and trend-forward product. The winning designs are manufactured and fulfilled through Minted’s production and distribution capabilities, enabling artists from around the world to share and sell their work, while letting Minted do the rest. Since launch in 2007, the company has expanded to serve consumers in new categories including wall art, textiles, digital content and home decor, as well as serve major retailers with design through licensing and wholesale partnerships
“Minted is a market leader when it comes to bringing both retailers and consumers high-quality design sourced from artists around the world. The funds’ investment in Minted reflects our strong belief in the company’s differentiated core assets of brand, analytics, and community and its limitless opportunity to grow into new markets,” said Brian Ruder, Co-Head of Technology and Partner at Permira, a global private equity firm. “We look forward to using our global platform and consumer technology expertise to support Minted’s expansion and ongoing success.” This investment is the Permira funds’ first strategic minority investment in the United States under the firm’s new growth opportunities strategy.
Minted will use the new capital to grow its burgeoning wholesale and licensing businesses, leveraging its archives of thousands of unique designs to help retail and brand partners, like West Elm and Pottery Barn Kids, source data-backed design from independent artists around the world. These partnerships build on Minted’s continued work to make high-quality, artisanal design scalable and accessible to consumers at every retail touch point.
“The retail industry is undergoing once in a generation change, and competitiveness hinges on offering unique design. By using its proprietary crowdsourcing process and predictive analytics to curate products that are likely to sell, Minted has proven the ability to grow in multiple categories,” said Henry Ellenbogen, portfolio manager of T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund. “Minted is successfully both selling directly to customers and supplying other retailers. It has the ability to build a much larger company.”
Mariam Naficy founded Minted in 2007 with the goal of building a retail brand that would stay fresh forever, by handing over assortment decisions to the crowd rather than relying on a few merchants’ decisions. The company sources all stationery, wall art, and home decor designs through design competitions that are open to everyone regardless of formal education. Consumers are invited to rate designs, and the company uses advanced analytics to evaluate customers’ ratings and decide what to sell.
“To be an independent creative today is tough; there is little infrastructure to bring your work to the world in large-scale distribution. Few artists are lucky enough to be able to do it on their own, and the rest have to rely on a system that isn’t transparent or meritocratic, and by nature edits their work. This funding marks a major milestone for Minted and for the idea that meritocracy — and getting design in its purest form from creator to consumer — ultimately produces the best business results,” said Naficy, Minted Founder and CEO. “We are thrilled to work with Permira and T. Rowe Price, who are experienced in omnichannel and global retail. As we enter the next phase of our company’s growth, this new financing will allow us to bring the best in independent design to people everywhere.”