Some further exciting e-commerce news from the past several days:
Investors have put $40 million into Fab.com, valuing the company at $200 million. Founder Jason Goldberg (ex SocialMedian/Xing) first started Fab.com as a travel community for gays and lesbians, but then expanded it to a private shopping club for interior furnishings, jewelry and art. The Wall Street Journal:
"An $8 million fundraising round in July, shortly after relaunching the site, valued Fab.com at around $25 million, people familiar with the matter said. The difference, Andreessen Horowitz says, is the company's fast growth. In November, Fab.com processed 100,000 orders, double the previous month, and is now averaging $1.4 million in sales a week. Fab.com already claims 1.2 million registered users, and is seeking to reach 4 million members next year."
"Plum District, which relies on a salesforce of moms who acquire local discounts targeted at other mothers, has raised $20 million in venture capital."
"Altogether, Plum District now operates in 27 markets and has a network of 300 salespeople — the company calls them “mom consultants.”"
Geographic expansion will be one of the applications for the newly collected capital.
Groupon is rolling out a Groupon Scheduler which will help merchants with their handling of Groupon vouchers. Using the tool, customers will be able to book appointments directly and merchants will be able to manage their service resources to handle their appointments:
"We recognized that there were thousands of appointment-based Groupon merchants looking for a simple way to implement online scheduling. Groupon Scheduler can accommodate schedules for different employees, services, and business locations, allowing consumers to book appointments without having to call or email.
Groupon consumers can book appointments with participating merchants through their account on Groupon.com and will receive a reminder email 24 hours before the scheduled appointment."
Since the majority of Groupon deals are redeemed with reservations, this is a logical extension for Groupon.
The Scheduler is rolling out in waves starting first in Sacramento and Miami.
Zappos founder Nick Swinmurn reveals some insider stories in an interview with Business Insider:
"He was rejected by just about every VC. No one thought people would buy shoes online, even though Swinmurn had a stat that said 5% of people bought their shoes from mail order catalogs."
"Zappos decided to sell when it started to realize that an IPO wasn't going to be viable. The company had big sales, but relatively small profits. It had a goofy culture. The VCs worried that the stock would be clobbered, thus making an IPO worse than selling to Amazon."
"MarkaVIP was founded in Jordan by CEO Ahmed Alkhatib and CTO Amer Abulaila in November 2010. Early investors include former Yahoo VP Usama Fayyad and former US ambassador Karim Kawar, along with Hummingbird Ventures and Turkish serial entrepreneur Çağlar Erol.
MarkaVIP, which has adapted the flash sales model popularized by companies like Vente Privée and Gilt, has attracted 700,000 registered users to date, with up to 5,000 more joining per day."
O'Reilly Radar has described how a small bookstore is using Twitter successfully.
"Omnivore Books follows a simple Twitter rule: 1/3 personal, 2/3 professional."
- Extras: Swag Of The Month, Hunch, Etsy, Kindle, Private Sales Clubs
- Extras: Ordr.in, API Management, Amazon, Taobao, One Kings Lane
- Extras: Groupon vs. LivingSocial, Wag.com, Rakuten, AmazonLocal
Originally posted in German by Marcel Weiss, adapted for excitingcommerce.com by Jason Soo.