Cipio Partners’ investment in Madrid-based online fashion retailer BuyVIP catapulted a young European start-up towards international growth and acquisition by the world’s largest online retailer Amazon. Cipio Partners invested in BuyVIP, a flash sales website that sells clothing at steep discounts for short periods of time, as part of a portfolio of companies acquired from 3i Group plc in 2009.
In doing so, it became the largest investor in a complex syndicate of shareholders with differing resources and objectives. However, the investor group recognised BuyVIP’s potential would be maximised as part of a major online retail group and, after significant investment, orchestrated BuyVIP’s successful sale to Amazon in 2010. The sale turned BuyVIP into the foundation of Amazon’s growing fashion flash sales business across Europe, ultimately leading to more new employment in Spain, Germany and Italy.
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