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Fab.com launches its international expansion beginning with Germany
The evolution of Fab.com over the last year has been fascinating, and now the flash sales brainchild of serial entrepreneur Jason Goldberg just took a bold new step abroad. Fab.com announced Monday afternoon that it has acquired Berlin-based flash sales site Casacanda, which has relaunched as Fab.de. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a source close to the deal told the Washington Post that it was an all-stock transaction valuing the company at $10 million.
Goldberg explained in a blog that the decision was between building a Fab.de from scratch or acquiring another company. After meeting the Casacanda team, Goldberg says the answer was clear. “Casacanda’s CEO, Roman Kirsch, is a true superstar. That guy is so impressive that I immediately wanted him on team Fab,” he said, adding that more importantly, the Casacanda team thinks like Fab.com.
Casacanda was bound to start getting calls from suitors sooner or later, considering the company’s rapid growth, acquiring some 90,000 customers in the last 90 days alone. As a whole, the company has acquired 250,000 customers since launching five months ago and is fulfilling some 15,000 orders per month—a rate that is growing by 200% each month.
The acquisition brings Fab.com’s headcount to 200 worldwide—a sharp increase from the company’s Ramen days as a four-person team little more than a year ago. Goldberg believes that the acquisition will allow Fab to generate 10-20% of its total revenue from international sales this year.
So why Germany?
“It’s a natural first-choice; the German economy is strong, Berlin is an awesome startup hub, and the German people have deep rooted passion for design and the types of products we sell on Fab,” said Goldberg via his blog. “In fact, the stuff we sell every day on Fab drives a lot of inspiration from German design.”
It’s a big step for the design-focused flash sales site, which has undergone more than one transformation since launching back in April 2010. Founded initially as Fabulis, a social network for the online gay community, the company rebranded in December 2010 as Fab.com, a location-based directory of gay-related places. Just two months later, the site transformed again into a daily deal service for gay men with the launch of The Big Gay Deal of the Day. Finally, the site found its real calling in flash sales as it relaunched in June 2011 as an e-commerce site for interior design, sort of like One Kings Lane, but with more sass.
Since the company’s plunge into the world of flash sales, it has acquired more than two million members, with 500,000 joining in the last month alone. Additionally, Goldberg says that one million members have joined via social sharing. The company says that it’s now averaging $1.5 million in sales each week and it expects to top $100 million this year. Home goods flash sales site One Kings Lane exceeded $100 million in 2010.
Goldberg said that the company plans to continue its international expansion.
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One Kings Lane is the only private online sales site solely dedicated to designer home décor. Each day (Monday – Friday) there are 3-5 sales that are brand specific and last 72 hours. Events begin at 8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST. For the first time ever, consumers have access to the personal inventory of high profile interior designers thanks to the Tastemaker Tag Sales. The sales will include an exciting, eclectic mix of vintage finds, one-off samples, décor and furniture from a designer’s branded line. The first TTS will launch on April 10th. Every Saturday, for three days, an interior designer will offer a signature assortment of hand-picked selections, which will be offered to One Kings Lane members at 50 percent or more below retail value. One Kings Lane was founded by Susan Feldman, a former fashion executive who has worked with such companies as Warnaco/Ralph Lauren Swimwear, Polo Jeans, and C&C California, and Alison Pincus, a digital media expert who spent time at ELLE Décor, Home, and Metropolitan Home. When Susan moved back to Los Angeles from New York a few years ago, and into her first house as an adult, she was house proud, but noted the frugal climate. She saw an opportunity to create a new way to make beautiful home furnishings available affordably, a sort of online sample sale. She and Ali were introduced and Susan’s background in retail, combined with Ali’s background in digital media created the perfect combination to create One Kings Lane.