Brands4friends appoints ex-VC for M&A action

[Berlin] Germany’s leading online private shopping club, Brands4friends, has appointed ex-VC Olivier Schuepbach as Director of International & Corporate Development where he’ll be spearheading the Berlin-based startup’s international expansion.

Schuepbach, a native Swiss, joins from Wellington Partners, a leading pan-European venture capital firm where he was responsible for new investments in leading European startups.

As part of his new role, Schuepbach will be focusing on Brands4friends’ M&A business, suggesting that the company’s recent investment in UK-based Secretsales, which he led, could just be the start of a spending spree to expand into markets other than Germany.

Schuepbach was also the co-organizer of the recent Tech Tour organization’s Web & Mobility Summit.

Prior to Wellington, Schuepbach worked for US companies, such as IBM and Texas Instruments, where he “developed and directed global operations as well as teams and is also familiar with the Asian market.”

Commenting on the new hire, Christian Heitmeyer, Managing Director and CEO of Brands4friends says: “His breadth of excellent contacts among entrepreneurs and venture capitalists together with his shrewd investor mind set are the ideal combination with which to pursue our objectives.”

Again, that sounds like M&A talk to us.

Following the usual private shopping club model, Brands4friends provides its members with limited special offers for products from more than 400 ‘top’ fashion brands, garnered from the overstock market from current collections as well as “off season” goods and special collections.

Brands4friends and Secretsales are both operating in an increasingly competitive space, with the biggest player being Vente Privee, said to have annual revenue nearing €650m globally. The Paris-based company is also thought to be courting Amazon, with the US e-tailer desperate to get into the lucrative private buying club market.

Other players in Europe include News International-owned BrandAlley UK, Russia’s, and Spain’s BuyVIP.