1stdibs secures Benchmark venture funding, names Rosenblatt CEO

NEW YORK, NY – 1stdibs, the world’s largest online luxury marketplace, has secured an investment from Benchmark Capital and has appointed David Rosenblatt, former DoubleClick CEO, as Chief Executive Officer.

Benchmark Capital General Partner Matt Cohler led the investment, and both he and Rosenblatt will join the company’s board of directors. The new executive team and financial backing, combined with Benchmark’s expertise in building online marketplaces,
is expected to increase 1stdibs’ growth; the gross merchandise volume of goods reportedly sold by 1stdibs dealers will exceed $500 million in 2011.

As the only online platform that offers a full range of luxury products, 1stdibs is a leader in the online sale of high-end antiques, 20th century design, estate jewelry and vintage couture. In addition, the site is broadening its selection of fine art and recently announced an expansion into the luxury homes market.

Company Founder Michael Bruno will continue his role at 1stdibs and maintain majority control of the company. Bruno will be working closely with customers and applying his unique understanding of their needs to drive the company’s expansion and move into new product areas for existing customers and growing traffic.

Antique Trader 2012“We’re delighted that a CEO of David Rosenblatt’s stature will be taking 1stdibs to new heights,” commented 1stdibs founder Michael Bruno. “David’s expertise in building technology-based businesses, along with Benchmark’s track record in backing entrepreneurs who are determined to transform markets, is virtually unmatched.”

Top designers, dealers and artists have embraced 1stdibs – helping them make the transition from foot traffic to online sales. With over 1,200 dealers on the site, and more than 6,000 items sold per month, there’s currently a waiting list of dealers who want to join.

“Michael sparked a revolution by creating the go-to marketplace for luxury goods, already making 1stdibs an iconic brand among the world’s best dealers and interior designers,” said David Rosenblatt, CEO of 1stdibs.  “I’m thrilled at the prospect of partnering with him and Benchmark Capital to scale the business, exposing millions of new customers around the world to 1stdibs.”

Rosenblatt, created the category of online advertising as CEO of  DoubleClick, engineered its $3.1 billion sale to Google. He is now poised to spearhead 1stdibs’ continued growth, and take the online luxury goods market fully into the digital era. Rosenblatt will continue in his role as chairman of Group Commerce, and as a board member of IAC and Twitter.

The new financial backing will be used to make key hires to build out the executive team and other important functions of the business, allowing the company to grow traffic and develop new tools for existing customers. Matt Cohler, General Partner at Benchmark Capital was the seventh employee at Facebook and a founding team member at LinkedIn.  He will tap his firm’s expertise in growing category leaders including; Twitter, Yelp, Zillow, OpenTable, and eBay.

“Both literally and figuratively, 1stdibs has the goods to significantly extend their
leadership position in the online luxury category,” said Matt Cohler, general partner at
Benchmark Capital. “We’re confident that David, Michael and the team will lead the
company to enormous success.”

According to Bain & Co.’s, “Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study,” the overall luxury
goods market grew 14 percent globally in 2010 reaching $256.6 billion.  While the category is still thriving despite the macro economic challenges, Bain also estimated that online luxury grew at 20 percent worldwide but that this channel still represents less than 3 percent of total sales as of 2009.

Founded in 2001 by Michael Bruno after visiting Paris flea markets, 1stdibs is the go to source for the world’s leading interior designers and in-the-know wealthy consumers to find antiques, design, estate jewelry, vintage fashion and art.

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