HODINKEE, which combines luxury watch content with an ecommerce store selling the likes of TAG Heuer, Breitling and Tudor, has been valued at around $100 million following a funding round that raised $40 million to fuel its expansion.
Founder and executive chairman Ben Clymer (pictured top) would not give a valuation for the business when WatchPro spoke to him about the funding, but he said that it would be possible to come up with an estimate by comparing it to similar deals.
Hodinkee has appointed Toby Bateman, former managing director of Richemont-owned Mr Porter, as its new CEO, although he will continue to live in London and Mr Clymer says he will be active in the New York office every day.
HODINKEE’s $40 million investment in a Series B funding round was led by TCG, a Chernin Group company specializing in building fast-growing consumer-facing businesses, is the lead investor.
Mr Clymer is one of the few people that I would send to Vegas with my money — John Mayer
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 and quarterback Tom Brady have invested.
Mr Mayer told the Wall Street Journal he decided to invest in Hodinkee, in part, because he believes in Mr Clymer, calling him one of the few people “that I would send to Vegas with my money.”
But Hodinkee also appealed to him because it turned the musty world of wealthy collectors over to a rising crop of online enthusiasts who care deeply about watches they might not even be able to afford.
“The new thing that Ben has been able to do is disconnect the idea of watch ownership from the fandom of the item,” Mr. Mayer says. “That’s unbelievable, because now you’ve removed the barrier to entry into loving these pieces. So owning the watch is now a small differential.”
- Read our full interview with Ben Clymer online and in the January edition of WatchPro.