secures landmark investment from

In just two years, ( has established itself as Germany’s largest online private shopping club with annual revenues of €80 million. The investment accelerates the international expansion of and will allow ( to become the UK’s leading online private shopping club.

Established in London in July 2007, has grown quickly to become one of the UK’s leading online private shopping clubs. The founders have concentrated on building a diverse portfolio of lifestyle, fashion, homeware and leisure product categories spanning over 450 partner brands.

“After carefully examining various options, it quickly became apparent that was our first choice in the UK,” said Christian Heitmeyer, CEO and founder of “The combination of entering one of the largest and most key e-commerce markets in Europe and partnering with holds enormous potential. We recognize large prospects in The existence of a strong management team led by CEO Nish Kukadia and our learning curve convinced us that together we will reach the leading UK position. The expansion will benefit our valued brand partners in terms of brand awareness, sales and image and also our customers by gaining access to even more top brands from the planned portfolio expansion.”’s vision and leadership coupled with its performance and consistent growth since launch has attracted significant interest from a range of different investors, and was identified as the perfect partner for reasons of shared strategic vision and economies of scale.

Nish Kukadia, a founder and Chief Executive of expands; “Having on board provides with the best route to realising our plans and pursuing an aggressive growth strategy. The team in Germany has already demonstrated an exceptional capacity to create a market-shaking online shopping club business. We will work closely to share and capitalise on their learnings, technology, marketing intelligence, infrastructure and cross-sourcing opportunities which will undoubtedly benefit the combined supplier portfolio and extensive customer base. We´re extremely proud to be working together.” will remain based in London. As part of the new venture, Sergio Dias (former Carrefour and LVMH International executive) joins the company as Chairman and Ed Bussey (a member of the founding team of and COO of ZYB) as an Advisory Board Member. CEO, Christian Heitmeyer and the Director International and Corporate Development, Olivier Schuepbach will also join the board.

-Ends –

For more information, or media requests please contact:
Rebecca McKinlay @ Ambition Communications on [email protected] / 020 300200 44 or Nish Kukadia @ Secret Sales – [email protected]

ABOUT SECRETSALES.COM was established in July 2007 by Nish and Sach Kukadia and Silvia and Michael Cody.

Within two years, has established itself as one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing online private shopping clubs – offering registered members access to a diverse portfolio of over 450 lifestyle, fashion, homeware and leisure brands, at significantly reduced prices. is one the UK’s leading private shopping clubs in terms of revenue and number of members. The membership database is formed by loyal, highly-qualified customers who exhibit excellent conversion to purchase and repeat purchase behaviour.

Members can invite friends and family to join and are rewarded with an evoucher once the invited person makes a purchase.

The company is a fully UK based operation, including an integrated logistics and fulfilment division, creative and production team and dedicated photographic studios.

The’s management team is:

Chief Executive – Nish Kukadia;
Finance Director – Michael Cody;
Operations Director –Silvia Cody
Buying Director – Sach Kukadia.

Following the investment, the team will be joined by:

Chairman – Sergio Dias, former Carrefour and LVMH International Executive
Advisory Board Member – Ed Bussey, founder of and COO of ZYB.
CEO of – Christian Heitmeyer
Director International and Corporate Development of – Olivier Schuepbach

ABOUT BRANDS4FRIENDS.DE is Germany’s largest online shopping club with more than 2.5 million registered club members. Two years after launching, is one of the fastest growing e-commerce communities worldwide with up to 10,000 new members daily. About 50 percent of new members are gained through viral activity. sells high-quality goods from renowned fashion and lifestyle brands exclusively to its members at significantly reduced prices. offers on a daily basis limited special offers for high-quality products from more than 400 brands, representing both overstocks from current collections as well as “off season” goods and special collections. went online in September 2007 and currently employs 200 people at their headquarters in the center of Berlin. The company was founded by Managing Directors Christian Heitmeyer (now CEO) and Constantin Bisanz, as well as by Nicolas Speeck and Mario Zimmermann. Partech International, Mangrove Capital Partners and Holtzbrinck Ventures rank among their investors.

The business, operated by Private Sales GmbH, was awarded the Vision Award in conjunction with the “Visions: People. Media. Marketing.” Congress and the Innovation Prize “Online Shop of the Year 2008” by the jury of the Mailorder Company Congress. In addition, was named “INTERNET WORLD” business idea 2008”.

The founders of were awarded the German Entrepreneur Prize in November, offered by the Harvard Business School Association of Germany e.V. Last year, was dubbed “Best in Test” by German computer magazine ComputerBild (rating: good; issue 10/2009) and was the only online shopping club to receive the fashion and lifestyle Trusted Shops seal. In autumn 2009, the team became a finalist in the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of 2009” contest. Most recently, was named the “Best Website of the Year” in the online shopping category by Metrix Lab.