Mr Porter's Bateman joins Hodinkee as CEO as it raises $40m for expansion
Watches specialist Hodinkee has announced the closing of a $40 million funding round and the arrival of Toby Bateman, the former Mr Porter MD, as its CEO.
The NYC-based company said the funding was led by TCG with participation from new and existing investors, including LVMH Luxury Ventures, Tony Fadell’s Future Shape and Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady. GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Grammy award-winner John Mayer also took part.
The money will be used to “further accelerate its retail/e-commerce capabilities and editorial product development”.
Hodinkee was found in 2008 by Benjamin Clymer, who now moves from CEO to Executive Chairman. It has grown from a blog writing about mechanical timepieces into a media and commerce company.
The appointment of Toby Bateman as its new CEO at the same time as it raised the new funding illustrates how far it has come in the last 12 years.
The company said that Bateman will guide it “as it expands its editorial, product, and service offerings benefiting the devoted watch community”.
It added that he’s “recognised as an e-commerce leader, bringing a specialist approach to the business by understanding the importance of content, product expertise, speed of service, and community-building. That approach makes him uniquely qualified to lead Hodinkee and leverage content and commerce in a way that is authentic, thoughtful, and in tune with today’s luxury consumer”.
The firm also said it has a new board member, with one of the lead investors from the funding round, Tony Fadell, joining. He has an impressive background and started at Apple Computer Inc in 2001, becoming the Senior VP of the iPod division and leading the team that created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three generations of the iPhone. In 2010, he founded Nest Labs, which was acquired by Google in 2014.
So what will change now that the firm has a big cash injection? Some things will stay the same but the company said “fans of the brand can look forward to new products that further explore the nuances and stories that make this industry so compelling, as well as more service-oriented articles. In the shop, consumers will see an increase in offerings from both the vintage and modern watch business lines as well as the continuation and expansion of Hodinkee Limited Edition watches and products. Development of services for the watch community will also be an important part of what [it] will offer going forward”.
Jesse Jacobs, Co-Founder and Partner at TCG said the business is a “rare” one that combines “a strong brand, world-class editorial, a passionate and loyal audience, and a thriving commerce business”.
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