Furniture and homewares retailer Vivense has launched its flagship store in London, on Borough High Street, Southwark.

Founded in 2013 by Kemal Erol as an Istanbul-based start-up, Vivense began as an ecommerce platform, offering contemporary interiors products at affordable prices. 

The Vivense brand is well established in Turkey, with 82 showrooms across the country, and manages the entire sales cycle, with its products finding a home in one million households to date.

The next phase of the brand's evolution is its further expansion, with additional stores in London and all major cities of the UK, and subsequent European showrooms opening in the coming months.

Vivense says that a physical presence is crucial to the brand, and highlights its personalised in-store interior design consultations as "a powerful selling point in a mid-level furniture marketplace that is becoming dominated by click-to-buy sofas and a diminished sense of customer service within the virtual space".

To help fuel its growth, the retailer recently secured a $130m investment from Turkish private equity fund Actera Group, which included a share sale by earlier investors including Earlybird VC and FJ Labs. Prior to this transaction, Earlybird Digital East Fund backed Vivense in various funding rounds and owned over 40% of its shares.