ModCloth, an online retailer of independently designed fashion and decor, has closed a $25 million round of funding led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). The e-tailer’s existing investors, led by Accel Partners, also participated in this round. Josh Goldman of NVP will be a new addition to the ModCloth board, joining Theresia Gouw Ranzetta of Accel, Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital, Ann Miura-Ko of Floodgate, and husband-and-wife co-founders Eric Koger and Susan Gregg Koger.
The funding will allow ModCloth to continue building a site experience that empowers its community and makes for a fun and unique social shopping experience, as well as expand its popular Be the Buyer program. Be the Buyer, which allows customers to vote items from emerging designers into production, recently surpassed 12 million votes.
ModCloth was started by high school sweethearts Eric Koger and Susan Gregg Koger when they were just teenagers, the summer before attending Carnegie Mellon University in 2002. After graduating from college in 2006, Susan and Eric decided to expand their site selection from strictly one-of-a-kind vintage items to a vintage-inspired aesthetic with items from independent designers from all over the world. The company has since gained attention for empowering their community of shoppers through a social commerce platform that brings products to market via customer feedback and validation. Most recently, ModCloth launched its Make the Cut Contest, a crowdsourced design competition that gives aspiring designers the opportunity to submit design sketches based on a themed inspiration board. Select designs are then voted on by the ModCloth community, with the favorites being put into production and sold on ModCloth.com.
With the new funding round, the online retailer also plans to grow its team at its San Francisco headquarters, as well at its Pittsburgh and Los Angeles locations. Last year, ModCloth consolidated its fulfillment center and office in Pittsburgh to a 146,000 square foot space in Crafton, Pennsylvania.