Subdial raises £4 million led by Active Partners to provide the ultimate trading experience for watch enthusiasts

15/12/2021
  • New funds will be used to enhance customer experience, support digital collection management and significantly expand the inventory on offer
  • Follows a period of exceptional growth where Subdial doubled top-line revenue every six months and expansion of their highly-active collector base 
  • Active Partners’ Nick Evans to join Board as an advisor

London, 15th December 2021: Subdial, a leading platform for trading pre-owned luxury watches, today announces that it has raised £4 million from leading consumer growth investor Active Partners, with participation from existing angel investors, including John Ayton, Christian Woolfenden and Matt Barker. The fresh funds from Active Partners will be used to enhance the digital experience for collectors, helping them navigate the platform more easily, as well as to bolster international expansion to accommodate demand.

The market for luxury watches, both new and pre-owned, can often be opaque even for seasoned collectors, let alone those buying their first luxury piece. Prices are often speculative with high street pre-owned dealers charging significant markups over the true market price. In a market where demand is at an all-time high, buyers often lack choice and are steered toward accumulating watches at the highest possible price point. Watch enthusiasts passionate about details such as craftsmanship, hand assembled movements and curating a collection are underserved and are left to discover and trade their precious pieces via social media or outdated online forums. With McKinsey estimating that pre-owned watch sales hit $18 billion in 2019, and could top $30 billion by 2025, Subdial is uniquely positioned to supply both the watches and the experience that collectors value in a way that is simple, enjoyable and reliable. 

 Founded in London in 2018 by Ross Crane and Christy Davis, Subdial set out to establish a trustworthy marketplace that reflects the attention to detail, carefulness and passion people search for when selling or buying a luxury watch. Essential to this, is Subdial’s commitment to platform design principles that are frictionless in nature as well as a thoughtful approach to customer service. There is no guesstimating involved in trading with Subdial. The company utilises data science and analytics to help customers identify the most accurate price point for the next piece in their collection. 

With impressive growth to date, Subdial has doubled its top-line revenue every six months since being founded. With over 22,000 appraisals since beginning operations, Subdial has been rated 5 out of 5 on Trustpilot with customers emphasising its personal service for traders, selection of watches and speed of shipping. The company currently sells worldwide and buys from collectors across the UK, and has plans to expand its buying operations into other geographies. 

The investment will be used to enhance Subdial’s customer experience, including a customized tech build that makes the front-end experience more intuitive, and to build out the collection management features of the platform. In addition, Subdial will also use the funding to deepen its presence in the UK watch community by curating tailored experiences for collectors and significantly expanding the number of watches available on the platform. Subdial currently adds around 30 watches a week to the platform via its weekly ‘drops’ with plans to increase this to more than 100 watches a week over the next 12 months.

Ross Crane, CEO and co-founder of Subdial, said:

 “Subdial was founded out of a genuine passion for watches, and the desire to create a trustworthy, transparent and data-led platform for watch enthusiasts looking to trade and build  their collections. We want to build a company at the intersection of technology and good old fashioned customer service. It’s been such an exciting journey so far, and we’re really proud of the amazing community of collectors that have become part of Subdial. But the best is yet to come. There is so much more that can be done in the pre-owned space, providing digital collections and seamless trading together with a sense of community. We are thrilled to have Active Partners – who have an amazing track record in the consumer space – on board for this next chapter.” 

Nick Evans, Managing Partner at Active Partners, said:

 “Subdial is doing something unique in this global fast-growth market, deeply engaging with enthusiasts beyond their first transaction.  We have been very impressed by Ross and Christy’s innovative, scalable, digital and data-led approach to this market and their genuine passion for watches and the pre-owned  and circular economies. Their commitment to building trusted relationships with the buyer and seller communities, delivering high levels of customer experience and engagement has allowed Subdial to gain rapid popularity amongst watch enthusiasts and collectors. We are delighted to support the founders with our investment and experience to accelerate and deliver their vision for the future.  

 

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