Private online shopping clubs are springing up like mushrooms all around the world in light of the successes companies like Vente Privée has been seeing, and venture capital firms are increasingly starting to invest in companies who are bringing the concept to specific niches or introducing the private online sales model to interesting geographical markets.
In the latter category falls Russian KupiVIP.ru, which has just raised a monster round of $20 million in venture funding led by Accel Partners and joined by prior investors Mangrove Capital Partners, ARLAN, Direct Group and angel Oliver Jung.
In March 2009, KupiVIP.ru had raised $8 million on top of its Series A round of $3 million, so this new capital injection brings the amount of investement to a healthy $31 million.
KupiVIP.ru sells discounted fashion goods from over 500 active brands, an offer that has so far attracted 1 million members to the online club according to the press release. Founder and CEO of KupiVIP.ru, Oskar Hartmann, said the round represents the largest investment ever into a Russian e-commerce vendor.
The company plans to use the funds to invest in logistics and operational infrastructure, as it strives to plan 2,500 flash sales events and double the number of participating brands to 1,000 in 2010.
As part of Accel’s investment, the VC firm’s Sonali De Rycker will join KupiVIP.ru’s board.