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Notonthehighstreet sold to US private equity firm as sales enjoy pandemic boost

Holly Williams, PA Deputy City Editor
·2-min read

Online personalised gift retailer notonthehighstreet has been bought by a US private equity firm after seeing annual sales jump 50% thanks to the surge in internet shopping.

The online marketplace has been sold to Boston-based Great Hill Partners, which has backed firms including home furnishings retailer Wayfair and digital travel group Momondo.

Great Hill did not disclose the price paid, but reports recently suggested the deal was worth around £150 million.

It will take a majority stake in notonthehighstreet, with existing investors Burda Principal Investments and Industry Ventures also remaining as shareholders.

The deal comes after notonthehighstreet – which was founded in 2006 – added nearly a million new customers and saw its community of hand-picked small business sellers rise four-fold in 2020.

Claire Davenport is chief executive of notonthehighstreet (notonthehighstreet/PA)
Claire Davenport is chief executive of notonthehighstreet (notonthehighstreet/PA)

It wants to boost the number of sellers on the marketplace and widen ranges across homewares and garden products, as well as food and drink – which saw combined sales double last year amid the shift to online shopping during the crisis.

Chief executive Claire Davenport said: “Business has boomed for our marketplace in the past 12 months.

“With more people shopping online and choosing to support small businesses than ever before, notonthehighstreet has become a go-to platform for people across the UK who are seeking unique ways to improve their home environment, discover new ways to spend their time and find thoughtful ways to stay connected with loved ones.”

Michael Kumin, managing partner at Great Hill, said: “While e-commerce adoption has accelerated over the last 12 months, notonthehighstreet’s focus on curating products from the UK’s best small businesses has enabled the company to stand out.”

Notonthehighstreet was founded by Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish and was previously backed by Index Ventures, Venrex and Eight Roads Ventures, as well as Burda Principal Investments and Industry Ventures.

The group is based in Richmond, south-west London, and has some 3.6 million customers and more than 5,000 sellers on its market.

It employs around 190 staff after hiring another 77 employees last year.