Melbourne-based online retail marketplace MyDeal.com.au will launch a new app, revamp its website and go on a marketing blitz after one of the country’s richest families bought into the company with a $5 million funding injection.
Tony Gandel, son of billionaire property developer John Gandel, is the only backer in the company’s first capital raise, through his firm Gandel Invest, with the company hoping to use his extensive contact book and retail sector experience to guide it on a rapid growth trajectory.
MyDeal, which was founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Sean Senvirtne, provides an online marketplace for shoppers to buy all their goods in one place, with over 5000 retail brands and almost 1 million website visitors a month.
The company’s growth kicked up a notch about three years ago and since then it has averaged 480 per cent growth year-on-year and for the 2017 financial year it is tracking toward $45 million in revenue.
Mr Senvirtne said MyDeal had needed to put in significant effort to get both sides of the market (buyers and sellers) to support the model, but it was now in a position to use its increased funds to expand.
He said he first knew the site was working when one shopper bought $17,000 of goods in a single transaction to furnish her new home.
“Marketplaces are hard to get off the ground in the beginning because you need both sides of the equation to come together. At the start we did a lot of mapping and building blue prints to ensure this would work … now I believe in the next two years it will be about making a land grab,” Mr Senvirtne said.
Mr Gandel said he would now leverage his ties with the bricks and mortar retail sector to help MyDeal.
“As someone with many years of experience in retail and property, I believe the online space is critical in the retail landscape,” he said.
“MyDeal has a sustainable model … and the chief executive has entrepreneurial flair, which sparked our interest.”
MyDeal employees 50 people at its Melbourne office and has been self-funded to this stage, despite earlier unsuccessful attempts to attract venture capital backing. Mr Senvirtne said earlier rejection by VC investors, who believed the model was under-developed, taught him to build a sustainable business earlier than other startups.
“Being undercapitalised didn’t force us to scale back the business, it forced us to validate the model,” he said.
“So now that we have raised money, we know how to grow the business and we know how to grow it three to four times faster.”
MyDeal is not the only marketplace to have attract investment in Australia in recent times.
In 2016 job outsourcing marketplace Airtasker banked $22 million from Seven West Media, online car parts marketplace SparesBox raised $3.5 million and carer’s marketplace Better Caring scored $3 million.
In December workplace training marketplace GO1 also received a $4 million cash injection from renowned investors such as Shark Tank’s Steve Baxter, Blue Sky Ventures and Tank Stream Ventures.
Mr Senvirtne said MyDeal would use the cash for marketing initiatives, expanding its team, launching an app in three months and also an impending relaunch of its website.
“Our website has been up for three years now. The new one has a better user experience and it will have more data analytics of the 50,000 products. It will be a very search-driven website with a better interface and better flow,” Mr Senvirtne said.