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Ecommerce startup One Kings Lane sees mobile revenue soar as 2012 closes

E‑commerce start­up One Kings Lane, which spe­cial­izes in flash sales of lux­u­ry home décor items, fash­ion acces­sories and more, round­ed off last year with 25 per cent of its total rev­enue com­ing via mobile.

Fund­ing in a cold climate

The com­pa­ny also secured a hand­some $50 mil­lion in Series D fund­ing in Decem­ber.  As any e‑commerce man­ag­er, web con­tent man­ag­er or e‑commerce ana­lyst could tell you, this was quite some accom­plish­ment: ven­ture fund­ing for e‑commerce star­tups was far hard­er to come by at the close of last year than at the start.  The lat­est round of fund­ing, led by Insti­tu­tion­al Ven­ture Part­ners (with addi­tion­al invest­ment from Tiger Glob­al Man­age­ment, Grey­lock Part­ners, Klein­er Perkins Caulfield & Byers and new kid on the block Scripps Net­works Inter­ac­tive), brought the firm’s total invest­ment to date to $117 million.

The sheer range of prod­ucts and dis­count­ed prices avail­able are impres­sive: cus­tomers can pur­chase items for as low as $20 and, at the oth­er ends of the scale, for as much as $20,000.

The company’s CEO, Doug Mack, believes that Scripps Net­work, a media com­pa­ny, invest­ed because of One King Lane’s spec­tac­u­lar online sales growth. The firm con­clud­ed the year with $200 mil­lion in sales – twice the amount it bagged at the close of 2011.


Mack con­firmed that a full 25 per cent of his company’s rev­enue — “not traf­fic, but rev­enue” – came from mobile in Q4. He added:

“On Thanks­giv­ing Day itself, 40 per­cent of rev­enues came via mobile shop­ping, so this has gone well past the tip­ping point and now is a major, major part of our rev­enue mix.”

A grow­ing army of loy­al customers

Mack believes One Kings Lane will soon rival home fur­nish­ing Goliaths like Pot­tery Barn.  In Octo­ber, One King Lane was just a cat’s whisker behind Pot­tery Barn as the most vis­it­ed pre­mi­um U.S. home site.

He attrib­ut­es the site’s suc­cess to high qual­i­ty con­sumer expe­ri­ence. What per­suades them to move up from a $75 dec­o­ra­tive mir­ror to a sofa they haven’t phys­i­cal­ly test­ed worth $5000? Mack says that cus­tomers start small, like the unique­ness of what they can buy on the site, and then step up to more adven­tur­ous pur­chas­es like light­ing, rugs and fur­ni­ture. “Right now,” he says, “75 [per­cent] of our rev­enues are from repeat customers.”

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