Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is no stranger to fame, with its newest high-profile investments in Zynga, Groupon, Twitter, Square, ngmoco, to older ones, from Sun Microsystems, Google and Electronic Arts. But now the 39-year-old firm is embarking on a new first: Turkey. The country. Not the bird. KPCB has led a $26 million round of funding in the Turkish fashion eCommerce startup Trendyol.com. Existing investor Tiger Global also participated in the round. The new capital brings Trendyol.com’s total raised to $50 million.
Like a Gilt Groupe for Turkey, Trendyol.com features timed sales on luxury apparel and accessories. And like Gilt, the site is members-only, and since its launch in March 2010, it has drawn over four million members, which equates to one out of every nine Internet users in Turkey.
With 35 million Internet users in the country, Turkey is the fifth largest Internet population in Europe, and it shows big promise for the eCommerce space, as the nation has a 60% credit card penetration rate. By comparison, 70% of U.S. citizens own at least one credit card, and the national average is 3.6 cards per person.
“Trendyol.com represents the new era of Internet innovators delivering on the promise of the social Web. We look forward to helping the Trendyol.com team continue to grow the business and are optimistic about its continued success in this high growth market,” said KPCB partner Mary Meeker.
The company currently has 350 employees and its 150,000-square-foot warehouse is the largest warehouse for eCommerce in Turkey. Trendyol.com is headed by Turkey’s leading female entrepreneur, 29-year-old Demet Mutlu.
“Trendyol.com’s mission has been to revolutionize fashion in Turkey and make it accessible to all: for those who don’t have the the time to shop; the brands or stores in their cities; and/or for those who cannot afford high retail prices,” said Mutlu.
The new capital will be used to build out customer service, bolster operations, increase member acquisition, and accelerate growth both domestically and internationally.