Fab.com, a six-month-old flash sale site that specializes in furniture and design, will acquire FashionStake, a New York-based e-commerce site for emerging designers.
This story first appeared in the January 13, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Having only dabbled in fashion until now, Fab.com, which has 1.6 million members, expects apparel sales to account for 20 percent of this year’s total sales, according to Bradford Shellhammer, co-founder and chief creative officer. FashionStake’s base of 400 designers will be folded into the Fab.com world, and the Fab.com site will be redesigned within the next two to three weeks to ramp up its fashion offerings. In keeping with Fab.com’s approachable pricing strategy — everything from $1 Kid Robot toys to $6,000 sofas are sold on the site — apparel, too, will be sold at a variety of price points.
FashionStake’s founders, Daniel Gulati and Vivian Weng, who were Harvard Business School classmates, will join Fab.com as buyers for fashion for men and women. They will be based in Fab.com’s New York office, where more than 100 of the company’s 135 employees work. There is also a design center in Belgium and a development team in India.
Last month, Fab.com lined up $40 million in Series B financing led by the Menlo Park, Calif.-based investment firm Andreessen Horowitz. Several existing investors including Ashton Kutcher and Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary, contributed to this round, as did Menlo Ventures, First Round Capital, Baroda Ventures and SoftTech VC. At that time, Andreessen Horowitz general partner Jeff Jordan joined Fab.com’s board. Having run PayPal and prior to that eBay North America, Jordan previously served as chief executive officer of OpenTable, where he continues to serve as executive chairman.
As for this week’s pursuit, Shellhammer said Thursday, “We see a really big opportunity in the fashion and apparel world. There are a lot of small independent designers out there and they don’t have p.r. teams or are not covered by the national fashion press. They don’t have the manpower or budgets to sell to big retailers. They are in pockets of Brooklyn or Seattle and San Francisco. They may have a showroom on the front side of their space and they’re cutting patterns in the back.”