The social shopping site Lyst secured $5 million in Series A financing Thursday, led by the venture capital firm DFJ Esprit.
Launched in April 2011, the social commerce site offers 20,000 brands, with women’s products accounting for 80 percent of all sales. This influx of capital should help the company to break even within the next 12 months, according to Chris Morton, who started Lyst with Sebastjan Trepca.
Forty percent of the site’s users are from North America, 40 percent are from Europe and 20 percent are from other parts of the world, especially Asia. Oscar de la Renta, Topshop, Lanvin, Gucci and Free People are among the labels. Handbags and summer dresses are current bestsellers. The average order is $300 and most users spend 14 minutes on the site, said Morton, who will soon relocate from Lyst’s London home office to its New York unit for at least six months. Hiring about 10 new staffers for Lyst’s Grand Street location will be one of his first orders of business.
Accel Partners, Alex Zubillaga and Venrex also contributed to the financing. With that in place, Trepca, who has built the digital side of four other sites, is working on a more customized way of e-mailing users that is “less spammy and more product and content oriented,” Morton said. The aim is to start using that in about six weeks.