EXETER, ENGLAND, Online experience that socializes and gamifies online shopping, announced its first round of funding led by venture firms Accel Partners and NEA.
Fantasy Shopper, a new online experience that socialises and gamifies online shopping, today announced its first round of funding led by top tier venture firms Accel Partners and NEA. This funding will enable Fantasy Shopper to build out engineering and business development resources, and expand into new markets.
UK-based Fantasy Shopper brings to life online fashion discovery by allowing users to spend Fantasy money on virtual representations of fashion items available in physical retail stores. Users are encouraged to build Fantasy wardrobes from their purchases, to share with the community and friends on social networks, and to compete for top trendsetter status. Members have the option to purchase items from their virtual wardrobes either online or at their local store, and retailers can use information on users' tastes to offer deals, discounts and specials.
"Fantasy Shopper brings together everything we love about social gaming and e-commerce and will generate real-time, real-world data that will be priceless to retailers," said Harry Weller, General Partner, NEA. "The Fantasy Shopper team truly understands how to build and optimize an online community, and make it even better through a constant feedback loop. The company has tremendous momentum and we're thrilled to be part of the team."
Shortly after its U.K. beta launch in October 2011, Fantasy Shopper became the first non-U.S. based business to win the Amazon Global Start-up Challenge, in a challenge that featured more than 1500 start-ups from 78 countries. Since then, Fantasy Shopper has increased its user base by 200% month over month, with members spending an average of 28 minutes on the site per visit.
"Fantasy Shopper harnesses social gaming and community features to help people discover and share fashion as it exists in the physical retail world. We are convinced that the next big company will be one that elegantly combines online engagement with offline discovery, and Fantasy Shopper has created the most compelling experience we've seen in this space. We're very excited to back an ambitious team with an inspiring vision and we've seen great momentum and engagement with the product so far," says Sonali de Rycker, Partner at Accel Partners.
"Our early community loves the product and our engagement and retention metrics are growing exponentially," said Chris Prescott, Co-Founder, Fantasy Shopper. "This funding from Accel and NEA provides the support and resources to take the product, business and community to the next level."
About Fantasy Shopper
Fantasy Shopper is the online experience that socialises and gamifies online shopping, allowing users to share their shopping experience with friends on social networks, and get real-time feedback on outfits and prospective purchases. Based in the UK, it launched a limited beta in late-October 2011, and became the first non-U.S. based to win the Amazon Global Start-up Challenge in 2011. Fantasy Shopper was founded by Chris Prescott and Daniel Noz. It is backed by Accel Partners and NEA. Learn more about Fantasy Shopper by visiting www.fantasyshopper.com
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel today invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, California, New York City, London and Bangalore, as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel.
Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful companies, many of which have defined their categories, including AdMob, Alfresco, Angry Birds (Rovio), Atlassian, ComScore, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Groupon, Kayak, Playfish, QlikTech, Spotify, and Wonga.
For more information, please visit the Accel Partners web site at www.accel.com find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/accel.
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a leading venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With approximately $11 billion in committed capital, NEA invests in information technology, healthcare and energy technology companies at all stages in a company's lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm's long track record includes more than 170 portfolio company IPOs and more than 290 acquisitions, including investments in technology leaders like Data Domain, CareerBuilder, Diapers.com, Fusion-io, Groupon, Juniper, Macromedia, Salesforce.com, and TiVo. In the U.S., NEA has offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area; Menlo Park, California; and New York City. In addition, New Enterprise Associates (India) Pvt. Ltd. has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, India and New Enterprise Associates (Beijing), Ltd. has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China.