Gilt Groupe has just taken in an impressive $138 million in investment financing, valuing the company at approximately $1 billion. This is the boutique online retailer's fifth and largest investment round by far, with firms including Goldman Sachs, Softbank Group, General Atlantic and Matrix Partners providing capital in exchange for an equity stake.
Over the last few years, Gilt has become more-or-less synonymous with the online "flash sales" movement, offering its subscribers access to brief sales where high-end apparel and merchandise can be had at a steep discount. Its site stresses design and photography and the user experience is quick, easy and addictive. The New York-based company has been joined in this segment by similar sites like the ascendant ideeli and the just-launched MyHabit.com from the big brass at Amazon.
Gilt says it plans to use the money to get into new arenas, including a more straight-forward, stand-alone men's retail site. In recent years, the company has expanded beyond men's and women's fashion into home decor and even travel booking with the sister site JetSetter.