My 1st Years, an e-commerce startup based in the U.K. that offers personalised gifts for babies and children, has managed to rake in £5 million in growth funding.

This round serves to augment the £2 million they have already raised and was led by Beringea, with participation from funds managed by Hargreave Hale. The company says it has plans to use the new inflow of capital for operations, marketing and international expansion into the U.S.

My 1st Years was founded back in 2009 by Daniel Price and Jonny Sitton, and its claim to fame -namely its personalised baby and child gifts, a concept that has been cited as inspired by NikeID tags — has made regular customers out of celebrities including Dannii Minogue, Elton John as well as the British royal family. Price says:

It was actually during university that we came up with the idea. We were working on a project on the baby clothing industry. It really showed us how huge the baby gifting market is, but we also noticed a big gap. We’re both pretty big fans of NikeID, and given that personalisation was a rapidly growing trend, it seemed surprising that nobody was doing it in the baby market.

Price goes on to explain that the resulting e-commerce site and brand is targeting situations where, as an example scenario, someone you’re close to has had a baby and you want to give them something “timeless, personal but at an affordable price” — a recurring problem for anyone who has lived beyond their 30s. He adds:

 That’s what we aim to do, and the market opportunity is definitely there. Women in the U.K. spend over £200 million on gifts for baby showers each year, and that’s before you even factor in birthday presents, new born gifts etc., and the things parents buy for their own children.

The My 1st Years founder also claims personalization is a growing trend citing YouGov research that predicts consumers will spend £1 billion on personalised gifts in 2016. He continues:

Because we were early to the party when it comes to personalisation, we’ve been able to grow with the trend, and react to it. Customers are no longer prepared to wait for a personlised product, so we ship things the same day. They’re also not prepared to compromise, so everything we produce is top quality. We’re now in a position to continue to grow our technology in this area, and to be proactive about expanding our offering.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.