| Feb 7, 2014 |
Online retailers experience unprecedented growth
Boh staff
By Staff

Two frontrunners in the online home furnishings retail space are taking on major investments to help support their rapid expansion. One Kings Lane (OKL) has recently raised $112 million in a new round of funding, while online home furnishings retailer Wayfair is in the process of raising $150 million.

With the new funds in place, OKL is now valued at $912 million—more than double its $440 million value in 2011. The private equity firm Mousse Partners led the funding efforts for this round. Two institutional investors (whom OKL did not identify) participated, along with existing investors Scripps Network Interactive, Kleiner Perkins, Greylock Partners, IVP and Tiger Global Management.

Having topped $1 billion in annual sales in 2013, Wayfair is looking to raise an additional $150 million, according to the Venture Capital Post, which would put the company’s value at around $2 billion. The funding initiative will be led by T. Rowe Price.

OKL didn’t reveal its 2013 numbers, but according to CEO Doug Mack, the company had around $200 million in sales in 2012, and sales have definitely increased. OKL saw a record fourth quarter last year, followed by a record sales week last week.

According to Mack, the new influx of money will go towards beefing up the staff and building a robust inventory. The company currently employs 500 people and its membership is up 50% from last year, coming in at 10 million.

E-commerce veteran Arun Rajan has already joined the company as chief technology officer. Rajan comes to OKL from Zappos.com where he spent more than four years as chief technology officer leading all aspects of technology for the company.

"As OKL continues to grow at rapid pace, Arun is the ideal person to lead our technology strategy and help us achieve our vision of becoming the leading lifestyle brand for the home," said Mack. "Arun brings an extensive background in transactional consumer web businesses and his customer-centric approach to technology makes him a perfect fit for our culture built on delivering great experiences to our shoppers every day."

Charles Heilbronn, chairman of Mousse Partners, will also be joining OKL—on the board of directors—bringing retail executive experience to the company.

Wayfair has hired Christiane Lemieux, the founder of DwellStudio, as executive creative director. In her new role, Lemieux plans to roll out a number of new lifestyle brands in 2014 and 2015. Wayfair acquired Dwellstudio in August of 2013.

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