On Tuesday, Fab cofounder Jason Goldberg announced that the e-commerce hub he founded in 2011 with Bradford Shellhammer had a new owner: PCH International, a custom design and manufacturing business. Although the financial terms of the deal weren’t discussed, the stock-and-cash deal is reported by multiple sources to be worth around $15 million.
According to a statement sent out to the press, the sale will allow Goldberg to focus “100% of our resources on Hem,” the online custom-furniture shop he launched last September. “I believe that PCH is the perfect partner to carry the Fab brand forward,” said Goldberg. “Renee Wong, who has been the GM since May 2014, will continue to lead Fab. She has built a strong team and she is a terrific operator.”
Indeed, it has been a turbulent few years for Fab, which originally positioned itself as a design-centric Amazon for the masses, selling everything from $8,000 Warhol originals to $17 cardboard stools. By 2013, the startup had ballooned to over a $1 billion valuation with $300 million in venture funding before it crashed back down to Earth thanks to an outlandish marketing budget and a lack of cost structure that has plagued a phylum of e-commerce known as flash sales. During a particularly rocky period some 300 to 700 Fab employees lost their jobs. Shellhammer left the company last November.
Hem, which spun off with 100 Fab employees and a few million in capital from Fab’s investors, was another in what can seem like a never-ending line of last-effort pivots. “Fab is more of a value place; Hem is more of a mid-market kind of affordable luxury price,” Goldberg told Fast Company last year. “Hem is the business that I’ve always wanted to create.” Shellhammer, meanwhile, revealed his post-Fab project in January: Bezar, an online “short-term sales hub” that targets designers.