Gilt Groupe has built a big business from flash sales, where consumers converge on a particular shopping deal for a limited time. And now the company is shopping for its own investment deal.
Silicon Alley Insider reported today that Gilt Groupe is raising $80 – $100 million from private market investors. The deal will value Gilt at around $1 billion. If it goes through, the deal will show that the social shopping market is still red hot and could represent a big challenge to traditional online retailers such as Amazon.
The investment talks come on the heels of last week’s big shopping exit, where Nordstrom bought HauteLook for $270 million.
To date, the New York-based Gilt Groupe has already raised more than $80 million in several rounds from Matrix, General Atlantic and others. Revenue is expected to be near $500 million in the current fiscal year, with valuation for the new financing hitting about two times revenue. That’s pretty similar to the price paid for HauteLook.
Gilt Groupe was founded by Kevin Ryan, Dwight Merriman, Alexis Maybank, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, and others in 2007. Gilt Groupe competes with the market leader of the “private sale” market, Vente-Privee in France. In these markets, you have to apply to join in order to get access to the good deals. Other rivals include Rue La La, One Kings Lane, Zulily and Ideeli.
The overall social shopping category is seeing big growth thanks to players such as Groupon and Living Social. Amazon bought its own flash-sale site, BuyVIP, last fall.