Looking to shop at the hottest new boutique in Tokyo but stuck in New York City? Now there's an app for that—and the company behind it is the latest startup to snag a $1 billion valuation.
Last week, online marketplace Farfetch announced it had drummed up $86 million in its latest round of funding from investors, including Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner. That puts the company in the exclusive club of so-called "unicorns"—private firms worth $1 billion or more.
Farfetch lets users shop on their desktops and smartphones for clothing and accessories at more than 300 boutique stores in 25 countries around the world. The idea is to connect well-heeled consumers with luxury retailers they might not have the opportunity to patronize.
Following a trend established by Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi, Farfetch melds an e-commerce platform with editorial content on luxury fashion, travel, and lifestyle topics.
Unlike those competitors, however, Farfetch doesn't hold inventory. Instead, it focuses on creating a smooth international shopping experience for consumers by taking care of logistics, including duties and customs.
The company is now moving from the digital realm to the physical world, targeting new customers with billboards and print and taxi ads in the United States and UK.
"We're hoping that will raise the brand awareness, but we do have a very loyal customer base around the world," José Neves told CNBC's "Squawk Alley."