The niche US home goods market has a long way to go. Market reports suggest that the industry has a mere 6% Internet penetration in the country. However, things are improving with e-commerce companies like Wayfair.com, One Kings Lane, and Fab.com bringing the home goods market to the consumers in a way not available earlier.
One Kings Lane’s Offerings
Founded in 2009 by design enthusiasts Susan Feldman and Alison Pincus, One Kings Lane enables US consumers to buy superior quality home goods at a discount. One Kings Lane works directly with suppliers including leading home brands, antique and vintage dealers, and designers and is able to offer discounts as high as 70% on their flash sales. Besides flash sales, the company also offers tag sales that let their suppliers sell unused items and unsold inventory through their site. One Kings Lane has also diversified into other products such as fashion accessories, books, gifts, and vintage products.
The site has seen rapid adoption and as of early this year, they had more than 10 million members compared with 5 million recorded last fall.
One Kings Lane’s Financials
One Kings Lane does not disclose its financials, but at the end of 2012, they were expected to be delivering revenues of more than $200 million. Like most other companies of their genre, they too are not yet profitable.
Of late, to manage their profitability, One Kings Lane has been restructuring their portfolio. They recently laid off nearly 15% of their staff as part of this effort. Early this summer, they also announced plans to shut down their consumer-to-consumer marketplace site Hunters Alley. During the initial days of its launch, Hunters Alley was reportedly doing good business. But, of late, they have struggled to keep up with the likes of eBay and Etsy, causing them to shutter down.
One Kings Lane remains venture funded and has received $229 million in funding from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, First Round Capital, Reid Hoffman, Greylock Partners, TriplePoint Capital, Marissa Mayer, Tiger Global Management, Mousse Partners, and Scripps Networks Interactive. Their latest round of funding was held in January this year when they raised $112 million in a round that added Mousse Partners to their investor list. The round was led by Mousse Partners along with a few other existing investors and valued them at $912 million. The valuation has increased since 2011 when they were valued at $440 million.
One Kings Lane has not confirmed any plans of an IPO, but they are adding senior level talent to build their team. Earlier this year, they hired former CTO of Zappos Arun Rajan as their tech lead and hired Gilt Groupe alumnus David Yu as their Chief Product Officer. The company is committed to remaining focused on all things home but is gearing up to expand to a larger market by the end of the year. They have not disclosed details, but have mentioned that they will remain committed to the home goods market.
It is reasonable to expect that the company will be going public soon, although for the moment, everyone is waiting for the Alibaba rush to be over.