Privalia secures $95m to roll-up private shopping clubs

The private buying club wars of Latin America, begun they have.

Privalia Venta Directa has secured €70m ($95m) from General Atlantic and Index Ventures, plus existing shareholder Highland Capital, to basically roll-up all the private online sales clubs in the region, as well as consolidate positions in Europe, according to Lucas Carné, joint chief executive and co-founder of Privalia.

It’s the latest in a number of investments by VCs in the exploding world of private online sales clubs. The sites are most popular in France, Spain and Italy, especially amongst fashion-conscious consumers, a €3bn sales market in Europe. In the UK there are already plenty of ways to get discounted fashion. These clubs mash together members looking for the same brands, usually fashion, to create a group discount. Brands use them to get rid of excess inventory in flash sales over one or two days, or win new business through special offers.

It’s expanded into Italy and Brazil where it’s become the market leader, and has launched recently in Mexico. Up next will probably be Colombia and Argentina. Some 600 people are on staff and it has nearly 6m users online.

Revenue for the six months to the end of June have overtaken sales for 2009 and 2010 sales are forecast at over €140m. Roughly 40 per cent of sales came from Latin America in the first half of the year. Sales for first half of 2010 grew 158%; exceeding the total revenue figure in 2009.

Four year old Privalia was advised by Jefferies on the latest funding.