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Main Street Investment invests in US startup WatchBox Investment firm acquires stake of less than 5% in leading watch house

Translated by Kim So-in 공개 2021-08-04 08:06:16

이 기사는 2021년 08월 04일 08:05 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

South Korea’s Main Street Investment invested in U.S.-based startup WatchBox, an ecommerce platform for pre-owned luxury watches.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, WatchBox was founded in 2015 by Danny Govberg, CEO of Govberg Jewelers, Liam Wee Tay, former owner of Sincere Watch, and investor-entrepreneur Justin Reis.

Tay is widely recognized as one of the watch industry's most dynamic entrepreneurs. He was instrumental in transforming Sincere Watch from a traditional family-owned company into a pan-Asian luxury watch institution, taking it public in both Singapore and Hong Kong before selling in 2012.

WatchBox is the world's leading ecommerce platform for the buying, selling and trading of pre-owned luxury timepieces. Each timepiece is thoroughly evaluated by the company's in-house master watchmakers.

The company’s online-focused business structure has benefited from the Covid-19 pandemic due to the shutdown of offline boutiques.

WatchBox also operates offline offices. Its timepieces and services are available within private showrooms and buying offices in Singapore, Dubai, Switzerland, and Hong Kong.

As the global luxury watch reselling market grows, WatchBox’s revenue has increased by more than 10% every year since 2017. Its revenue grew from $145 million in 2017 to $209 million in 2020, up 44%.

Industry sources estimate WatchBox already delivered an operating profit during the first five months of this year that is similar to the last year’s operating profit. It recorded earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $15 million last year and EBITDA from January to May was close to the last year’s level.

Main Street Investment acquired redeemable convertible preference shares issued by WatchBox for 15 billion-20 billion won to secure a stake of less than 5%, according to sources. Assuming Main Street Investment invested 17 billion won ($15 million) and secured a 5% stake in the company, a 100% stake is estimated to be worth at least $300 million.

WatchBox aims to go public as early as 2023 and no later than 2025. The company plans to expand its business to jewelry to boost its corporate value ahead of its planned listing. (Reporting by Gyoung-tae Kim)
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