There’s much to love about Fab and its CEO Jason Goldberg. I’m particularly in love with the fact that he recently coined the term “emotional commerce,” which sums things up pretty neatly. There’s e-commerce, which is all about convenience. There’s social commerce, which is all about leveraging customers’ social graph to drill down to their unique tastes. And then—bam, there’s emotional commerce, which is all about discovering cool ass shit.
Now Fab is amping up its game with a tidy $150 million Series D round led by Tencent, with help from existing investors Atomico, Andreessen Horowitz, Itochu Technology Ventures, Menlo Ventures, RTP Capital, Pinnacle Ventures, Lars Hinrichs, and Docomo Capital. The round is still open and Goldberg expects to raise additional funds.
The new round brings Fab’s total raised to $310 million to date at a pre-money valuation of $1 billion.
Recently celebrating its second birthday, Fab has undergone an interesting evolution, starting out as Fabulis, the social network for gay guys, and later becoming Fab.com, the social/local network for gay guys, before becoming a daily deals site for gay guys, and eventually becoming Fab, the “emotional commerce” platform.
“Commodity Commerce is about getting in and out as quickly as possible. One-click shopping. Emotional Commerce is all about getting lost in the moment,” wrote Goldberg in a blog post Wednesday morning. “Winning in Emotional Commerce requires developing aspirational yet accessible online brands. It’s about ecommerce with personality.”
With more than 14 million members across 26 countries, Fab sales increased by 500% in 2012 and are expected to grow by another 100% in 2013. Additionally, Fab now has margins that vie with Apple—43%, up from 29% in 2011.
The company plans to use the money to invest in its supply chain, logistics, customer service, technology, and merchandising. One of the reasons why Fab has emerged as a leader in the flash sale category is the fact that its shipping is so efficient, while other flash sale sites take forever to ship items. Today, 75% of Fab’s orders ship within 24 hours of purchase.
In addition to investing in its supply chain and technology, Fab also has plans to go global, starting with a new operating warehouse that will open in the Netherlands later this year to serve Fab’s 3.5 million European customers. Next year, Fab will open a second U.S. warehouse in Las Vegas to better serve the west coast.
And of course, at this point, you can’t be in the e-commerce business without having your own branded line of products. To that end, Fab is working with over 15,000 designers on Fab-exclusive items. It’s also working on a line of user-designed custom furniture called Fab Designed By You, which will allow any customer to design their own tables, benches, shelves, and more.
Fab specifically sought out Tencent as a strategic partner due to the company’s goals of building its international presence, Goldberg said.
“We believe that design is a universal language and we are confident that we can bring Fab’s unique products to millions and millions of people worldwide.”