Fast Company

Fashion Frenzy: Gilt Competitor HauteLook Receives $31 Million in Funding

Fashionistas beware, the online fashion market is about to get busier. HauteLook, a members-only online sample sale site, closed a $31 million round of funding headed by Insight Venture Partners (they raised $10 million in funding last year). The company plans to use the money to attract new members, add new sales categories and amp up its social media and mobile platforms.

“People are paying attention to the flash sale space,” Adam Bernhard, HauteLook's chief executive, told The New York Times. “We’re able to hit the accelerator and grow the business.

Gilt Groupe, one of HauteLook's main competitors, also received $35 million in funding last month and plans to use the money to fund new business initiatives. The two sites have comparable membership bases and boast similar designer names, such as Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta.

To create an online sample sale, the company buys overstocked merchandise from designers which it then discounts and sells as a part of limited-time, members-only sales. The sales generally last 48 hours on HauteLook and 36 hours on Gilt. Since its start in 2007, HauteLook has garnered more than 2.5 million members and has hosted more than 2,500 sales with more than 1,000 different brands. Got your credit card ready yet?

 

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