Totsy puts $18.5M into its kiddie pool

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Totsy, an ecommerce site dedicated to offering deals for parents, babies, and kids raised $18.5 million in its second round of financing.

While the marketplace is flooded with daily deal and sale sites, Totsy stands out for catering exclusively to parents and children. The site features major brand names, like Disney, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Zutano, at a reduced cost. It features apparel, furniture, bedding, books, and toys, as well as speciality items that can be difficult to find in retail stores. The discounts are available for a limited time, with the average sale lasting around three days.

“We wanted to start a private sales site, but the luxury-fashion space is completely trodden,” said CEO Guillaume Gauthereau. “We saw room in the parenting segment and we took it. Most of our shoppers are moms with young kids. We have anything a family with young kids might need or want.”

Totsy is a private sale site, which means it is by invitation only, although anyone can sign up. The privacy is not about exclusivity, but rather intended to protect brands from publicly revealing lowered prices.

“The brands we sell want to be behind closed doors to make sure Google doesn’t get it,” Gautherau said. “If the discounted prices show up, it could be damaging to the full price customers.”

The company is growing and expects to become profitable by the end of the year. It currently has 3 million active users and was featured in Forbes last year as one of the most promising private companies in the US. This is no surprise, considering the massive market out there for parenting and baby gear and the priority moms placeĀ on saving time and money.

The recent investment was led by Rho Ventures and DFJ Gotham, both New York based capital firms, and follows a first institutional round of $5 million from 2010. Totsy was founded in 2011 and primarily faces competition from Zulily.