MyDeal no longer bootstrapped following $5m capital raise but will continue to be ‘very lean’

Melbourne start-up has closed a $5 million funding round with strategic investment firm Gandel Invest. Launched in 2012, the fast-growing online marketplace has, until now, been entirely bootstrapped by founder, CEO and serial entrepreneur Sean Senvirtne.

He spoke to Dynamic Business about why the time was right to inject capital into MyDeal, which has grown 480% over the past three years and is on track to hit $40 million in sales by the year’s end.

 “We will continue to run MyDeal as a very lean business, our motto being to always focus on the ROI, but we identified key metrics where we could potentially accelerate growth by raising capital,” he said.

“Given we operate in a highly competitive, fast-moving space, we were advised that now was the right time to raise capital and focus on our expansion plans. We’ll essentially be operating in the same way – just on a bigger scale.”

More brands and more consumers

As well as launching a new website interface and an app, next month, Senvirtne said MyDeal will be investing in rapidly expanding its customer base and brand footprint across the Australian consumer market.

“Our marketplace boasts 25,000 to 30,000 consumer products across 900 categories from close to 1000 suppliers,” he said.

“To ensure we continue to satisfy customers, we’ll be focusing on introducing bigger and bigger brands into our ecosystem so we can roll out new products offerings across an expanded range of categories. We’ll also be focusing on marketing activities to bring more and more consumers to our website sooner.”

“We’re showing no sign of slowing down”

Senvirtne said that when announced its funding round, it attracted a lot of interest from venture capitalists and investment bankers, both from Australia and overseas, due to the fact that it had achieved significant success as a bootstrapped venture.

“The round was over-subscribed in that sense,” he said. “Not only did this validate the business, it also meant we could sit down with our list of potential investors to determine who aligned with our vision and so who would be the right strategic partner. In the end, we took funds from a single investor. The ability to be selective in this way is a luxury not every business is afforded.

“Considering Tony Gandel’s retail experience and his industry network, Gandel Invest, was a good fit for MyDeal – they’re serious about helping us to grow faster by bringing more brands onto our platform. We’re gaining momentum and with this capital injection, we’re showing no sign of slowing down.”

See also: Staying lean, adapting quickly: Sean Senvirtne on the rapid growth of his online marketplace