Not On The High Street has secured a Series E funding round totalling £21 million. The eCommerce marketplace for small creative businesses intends to use the money to accelerate its long-term growth plans, including becoming one of the first companies to launch Apple Pay on its website.
Apple Pay is already available on the e-tailer's Gift Finder app, which has helped to drive sales conversion by 200% compared to traditional card methods.
This Autumn, Not On The High Street will introduce Apple Pay technology to its website, this will allow consumers shopping online via desktop devices to able to pay for goods using Apple’s mobile wallet. A button embedded into the check-out process will link to a shopper’s iPhone device and using touch ID fingerprint technology on their mobile, they will be able to authenticate the desktop purchase.
Not On The High Street plans to invest the remaining money in technology, innovation, marketing and operations which will allow the company's 5,000 sellers connect with more customers at scale. The e-tailer also hopes to expand internationally – last year, Not On The High Street shipped to 154 countries worldwide, representing 5% of sales.
The funding round was led by Hubert Burda Media (“Burda”), with additional support from existing investors including Index Ventures, Industry Ventures and Eight Roads Ventures. The e-tailer will also continue to build its core gifting offer, by expanding categories into experiential gifts, as well as developing customer experience both on and offline.
“Notonthehighstreet.com was born out of the belief that customers want products that are more thoughtful, unique and personal and that, through technology, we could connect thousands of independent businesses – the makers of these great products - with customers around the world. This purpose remains even more relevant today in a world where customers are craving something more than the ubiquity of the mass market," said Not On The High Street CEO, Simon Balsham.
"Finding an investor that shared our vision and could provide strategic support, as well as new funds to support our multi year growth plan, was key. Burda has a longstanding reputation as an investor in cutting-edge consumer and technology businesses and an international reach that will help us accelerate the potential we see both at home and overseas."
The investment news coincides with the e-tailer reporting year-on-year sales growth of 19%, which resulted in a decade of consecutive year of double-digit growth.
Over the 12 months to 31 March 2016, Not On The High Street reported an underlying EBITDA loss of £1.6 million compared to an EBITDA loss of £3 million for the same period for the previous year. The retailer also added a number of senior appointments, including CEO, Simon Belsham, CTO, Hugh Fahy, and customer director, Hannah Webley-Smith.
Belsham added: "It has been an incredibly exciting twelve months for Notonthehighstreet.com, marked not only by this new investment but another year of strong growth and several significant senior hires that put strong foundations in place for continued success."
The e-tailer also plans to invest its funds into its Pitch Up start-up programme, where companies can pitch their products to the marketplace.
Martin Weiss, MD at Burda Principal Investments, commented: "Notonthehighstreet.com has built up a very successful eCommerce business beyond the classic retail model that fits very well with our portfolio. We see significant growth potential for this unique business, both in and outside the UK, making it an obvious partner for us as we continue to grow our portfolio of consumer and technology brands internationally."