€10 million capital raising for Inspirational Stores – Funding led by new investor Atlas Venture

€10 million capital raising for Inspirational Stores – Funding led by new investor Atlas Venture

News published on October Monday 6, 2008
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Paris, October 6th 2008 - Bryan, Garnier & Co, the independent pan-European investment bank

focusing on growth companies, today announced its Corporate Finance Department successfully

arranged a €10 million private placement for Inspirational Stores, one of the largest first round

financings in France since the beginning of the year.

Bryan, Garnier acted as exclusive advisor to the company’s founders and was sole placement

agent. The funding was led by new investor Atlas Venture and allowed OTC Asset Management,

which participated in the seed funding, to significantly increase its investment.

Established in January 2007 by Michel de Guilhermier, former Founder and CEO of Photoways,

and Martin Genot, former COO of the same company, Inspirational Stores is a French e-retailer,

operating up-market brands’ (such as Ladurée, Lamarthe or Delvaux) official online boutiques

on an international scale through exclusive long-term licenses.

This capital raise will enable the company to finance its growth, with the use of funds

allocated to the launching of new e-boutiques, the strengthening of marketing, IT, brand

support and logistic teams, IT platform optimisation, and international developments in Europe

followed by the US and Japan.

Gregoire Revenu, Managing Director at Bryan, Garnier & Co stated: “We usually work on capital

raisings for more mature companies, but we immediately felt thrilled by the innovative model

of Inspirational Stores, and by its seasoned management team which guarantees the company

the most accurate skill sets in terms of marketing, retail, technology and fulfilment, the 4

cornerstones on which e-commerce is constructed. We decided to work alongside Inspirational

Stores, to ensure the company swiftly emerges as a major player in both e-retail and up-market


Following the €11m private placement conducted for Jobpartners, this transaction confirms the

leadership of Bryan, Garnier & Co with regards to private placements for European growth

companies. Since 1998, Bryan, Garnier & Co successfully led more than 30 private placements,

raising several hundred million Euros, thanks to an experienced team of investment bankers

and former venture capitalists, who share with the bank’s clients their deep knowledge of new

technologies and a substantial private equity network.

Michel de Guilhermier, Executive co-Chairman of Inspirational Stores, added: “Bryan, Garnier &

Co’s experience and understanding of our business were critical to us. These precious skills

allowed us to respect the aggressive timing we prepared in order to remain focused on

operational matters and benefit from strong momentum versus our competitors. Bryan, Garnier

& Co introduced us to the “right” people within the “right” venture capital houses, so as to

minimise our exposure and maximise our chances of success. In the end, Bryan, Garnier & Co

basically did an excellent job, mastering both the transaction process and the negotiations and

demonstrating very strong commitment throughout. This resulted in the creation of a very

competitive environment amongst VCs, which ultimately enabled us to raise an important

amount of money under fortuitous conditions. The choice of Atlas Venture and OTC as investors

corresponded exactly to our expectations.”

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