Founded by Alison Pincus and Susan Feldman, One Kings Lane plans to expand operations and technology with its recent round of Series E funding.
By Betsy Mikel (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0)
A female-founded bootstrapped startup is close to breaking the billion-dollar club.
Home decor online retailer One Kings Lane just raised $112 million in Series E funding to expand operations and technology. The recent investment brings the valuation of One Kings Lane up to $912 million. The funding was led by Mousse Partners, a new investor. All existing investors including Scripps Networks Interactive, Kleiner Perkins, Greylock Partners, IVP and Tiger Global Management and two undisclosed inventors also participated in the round.
Cofounders Alison Pincus and Susan Feldman launched One Kings Lane in 2009, just five months after they had met. Even though the U.S. economy had just crashed, Pincus and Feldman still saw opportunity to revolutionize the way people shopped for home decor, furniture, and unique vintage finds.
“There was no exciting, curated destination where consumers could shop, get inspired, find their favorite home and lifestyle brands, and discover new ones,” Pincus and Feldman wrote for Huffington Post.
Bringing together their varied fashion and online expertise — Pincus previously held digital-marketing and business-development positions and Feldman had previously run sales teams for clothing companies in New York — the two launched the members-only flash sale site for home goods and decor.
One Kings Lane is more than an online marketplaces for nice stuff to put in your home; the site also helps inspire shoppers as they decorate their homes. Repeat customers is key to One Kings Lane building their business, and they seem to have found the secret. As of 2012, repeat customers generated 70 percent of the revenue.
According to Tech Crunch, the company says it now has 10 million members, up from 6 million in 2012. Last May, One Kings Lane launched Hunters Alley, a marketplace where owners can sell high-end furniture and home decor to online buyers. This round of funding will help grow that new venture.
CEO Doug Mack also told TechCrunch the company will use this additional capital to focus on product features that align with its long-term business goals such as personalization, data mining, search and mobile. He says the company is not planning on filing for IPO anytime soon.
“We want and need to make a huge push on tech, data and design,” Mack told re/code. “It’s a unique time to do this as the market moves to embracing the idea of buying home decor online.”
One Kings lane also announced the appointment of a new board member and key new hire. Charles Heilbronn, Chairman of Mousse Partners, will bring his executive retail experience to the board. Zappos CTO Arun Rajan was just hired to lead One Kings Lane technology initiatives. According to Business Insider, Rajan will bring his customer-focused approach to build the technology team, create better tools for scalability and fast growth and strength the personalized shopping experience for the site.
What other female-founded startups do you know that are nearing the billion-dollar club?
Betsy Mikel is a freelance copywriter and content strategist who helps brands, businesses and entrepreneurs tell their stories. A journalist at heart, her curiosity drives her to find something new to learn every single day. Follow her on Twitter at @betsym.