Curated, a San Francisco, CA-based online shopping platform that matches customers with experts, announced $27.5m in total funding.
The round was led by Forerunner Ventures. Kirsten Green, Founder and Managing Director of Forerunner Ventures, has also joined Curated’s Board of Directors.
Backers in the company also included a variety of LinkedIn executives, the former chairman of online specialty retailer Backcountry.com, Michael Zeisser, and John Burbank of Passport Capital.
The funding will be used to continue investing in their team and experts, improving the online platform, marketing to scale the business and expanding to more shopping categories that have low online penetration.
Founded in 2017 and led by Eduardo Vivas, CEO, Curated is an online shopping platform that matches customers with experts for items that have some degree of complexity, like outdoor sports equipment and travel experiences.
To provide the best possible expert match, when first visiting the site, customers are asked to answer a few basic questions about their specific needs. They are then connected with a category expert — a real person — to discuss the details of what they are looking for. The conversation starts on the platform but can continue via text, phone or email. After understanding what the customer is looking for, the expert provides a list of personalized recommendations with detailed explanations of why each product is a fit based on their first-hand experience and deep knowledge of the products for that category. Once the expert and customer have found the right product together, customers can buy directly from Curated.
The company aims to address a broad range of considered purchases, including enthusiast categories such as golf, winter sports, and cycling, with more to become available as the company expands.