A few years ago, I wrote about the emerging trend of niche e-commerce and the need for entrepreneurs in the space to internalize web 3.0 concepts to ensure a differentiated offering. Over the past few days, we have looked at several such niche providers within the online retail space. Another worth mentioning in the same segment is One Kings Lane.
One Kings Lane’s Financials
One Kings Lane is focused on the U.S. home goods market, which is estimated to be worth $500 billion. Analysts believe that a mere 6% of this market is currently transacted online.
San Francisco–based One Kings Lane was founded in 2009 by entrepreneurs and design enthusiasts Susan Feldman and Alison Pincus. The company was launched to provide a curated destination where consumers would be able to shop for several home and lifestyle brands. Today, One Kings Lane is a leading flash sales site for home and lifestyle shopping destination which offers high-end, branded, vintage and designer items. Its products are available to consumers at nearly 70% off retail prices. In addition, One Kings Lane also offers tag sales which enable larger-scale designers and retailers to sell unused items and unsold inventory through their site.
As of early this fall, the site had more than five million members. The company lists nearly 1,000-2,000 products daily for these consumers. It aims to earn revenues of $200 million this year, compared with nearly $100 million reported a year ago.
To date it has received $165 million in venture funding from investors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, First Round Capital, Reid Hoffman, Greylock Partners, TriplePoint Capital, Marissa Mayer, Tiger Global Management, and Scripps Networks Interactive. Last year, One Kings Lane raised $40 million at a valuation of $440 million.
One Kings Lane has also been focused on the mobile arena. Reports suggest that nearly 25% of its traffic is through mobile devices, and that number increases on holidays. The company plans to invest in mobile technology to be able to deliver new apps and an improved user experience to buyers.
Besides selling goods, it is also working on developing an engaging vertical-focused content library for users. It has hired the editorial teams of several home décor–oriented magazines, such as Domino and Architectural Digest, to offer blogs, video, and other digital content to users. The site’s content is closely linked to the merchandise, helping the company to monetize this content.
An iPad First
Recently, it tied up with Catalog Spree, a digital catalog company, to create an online catalog that lets users browse on both the iPad and the web. As part of the deal, One Kings Lane’s flash sales will be updated daily on the digital catalog, making it the first time that a flash sales site has appeared in a digital catalog for the iPad.