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High-end Furniture Startup One Kings Lane To Sell In “Fire Sale”

Once valued at $900 million, struggling home decor company expected to go for less than $150 million

High-end Furniture Startup One Kings Lane To Sell In “Fire Sale”
[Photo: Flickr user Thomas8047]

One Kings Lane, the high-end furniture and home decor startup that launched in 2009 and quickly rose to popularity due it its “flash sales” of heavily discounted inventory, is expected to be sold for less than $150 million, according to Re/code. The company was once valued at over $900 million and had raised $230 million in venture capital, but had always remained unprofitable.

Sources told Re/code the company was originally seeking a higher price than the $150 million, but recently began telling prospective buyers it was ready to sell for cheap, calling it a “fire sale.” The low $150 million selling price means that many investors would lose part of their investment and almost certainly all of One Kings Lane’s employee stock options would become worthless.

The once popular One Kings Lane last raised $112 million in January 2014, but soon after started having problems as customers tired of its flash sale model. Shortly after, its CEO left the company and then cut 79 employees—15% of its staff—in June of 2014. It followed the layoffs in October 2014 by shutting down its Los Angeles office. December 2014 saw another 25% reduction in staff followed by the layoff of five members of its senior management team amid stagnating sales.

It is not yet known who the prospective buyers of One Kings Lane are but sources told Re/code that the business remained unprofitable and the layoffs were likely a condition to get a deal done.

About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, freelance journalist, and former screenwriter represented worldwide by The Hanbury Literary Agency. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books.