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HODINKEE secures $40 million funding for future growth

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Hodinkee founder Ben Clymer has pivoted the business towards selling watches to his two million visitors ever month.

HODINKEE has secured investment totalling $40 million in a Series B funding round.

TCG, a Chernin Group company specializing in building fast-growing consumer-facing businesses, is the lead investor.

Other institutional backers include LVMH Luxury Ventures, True Ventures, Future Shape and Google Ventures.

LVMH Luxury Ventures is an investment entity within LVMH Group that says it makes minority investments in emerging luxury brands with strong growth potential.

HODINKEE has also revealed that seven-time Grammy Award winner John Mayer has invested.

No details have been disclosed about the terms of the funding round and what stake in the business the investors have secured.

Jesse Jacobs, co-founder and partner at lead investor TCG says HODINKEE is a rare company that combines a strong brand, world-class editorial, a passionate and loyal audience, and a thriving commerce business.

“HODINKEE represents the new school – digital, personal, accessible, agile – while also paying respect to the heritage and centuries of craftsmanship of the watch industry,” she adds, while listing brand, editorial, curation, commerce, and service as key ingredients for current and future success at HODINKEE.

News of the $40 million investment is breaking on the same day that HODINKEE unveils Toby Bateman as the company’s new CEO.

Toby Bateman, former managing director at Mr Porter, becomes CEO of Hodinkee.

Mr Bateman was a co-founder and managing director of Richemont-owned Mr Porter until October last year, and the driving force behind the luxury gentleman’s ecommerce store expanding from fashion and accessories into luxury timepieces. He also pioneered Mr Porter as a publisher promoting its own products and services.

HODINKEE’s founder Ben Clymer (pictured top) will assume a new role of executive chairman.

“I am confident that with our new partners, we will be able to welcome new watch lovers into the world of HODINKEE. In my new role as executive chairman, I will be able to spend each day of the week doing what I love most, ensuring that HODINKEE remains connected to the core tenets of why we exist in the first place – to serve our community. I am proud to have Toby onboard as our new CEO and am pleased to welcome TCG, LVMH Luxury Ventures, Tom Brady, and more into the HODINKEE family,” Mr Clymer says.

Mr Bateman will not relocate from London, Mr Clymer told WatchPro. “We have proved this year that we are able to do our jobs from home. It might once have seemed strange for our new CEO to be in another country, but not anymore,” he said. “I do expect him to spend more time in New York once travel opens up again,” he added.

Tony Faddell, principal at Future Shape will join the HODINKEE board. The serial entrepreneur and investor is credited with bringing the iPod to market during a decade at Apple from 2001 and senior vice-president of the iPod division from 2006 to 2008.

At Future Shape, he heads investment and advises firm with a focus on tech-driven consumer-facing companies and has been an admirer of HODINKEE and sounding board for Mr Clymer for many years.

Like a well-made watch, HODINKEE’s attention to detail, quality, and creativity captured my attention back in 2014. I had to meet Ben. Ever since, I’ve had the privilege to help him and his knowledgeable, dedicated team. Honored to be even more involved now as a board member,” Mr Fadell says.

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