A scant seven months after Andreessen Horowitz “plowed” $40 million into Fab at a $200 million valuation, the pivot-happy flash sales site for design items just announced a massive Series C. The company closed a $105 million round led by Atomico, an international investment firm out of London run by Skype cofounder Niklas Zennström. The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news, says the new round values Fab at $600 million.
Yes, folks, that’s a 200 percent jump in valuation in seven months. We bet even Fab doesn’t sell a sleek-enough vessel to hold all that (theoretical) dough.
In a press release, Fab said ru-Net Technology Partners (RTP), the international fund backed by Russian billionaire Leonid Boguslavsky–with an office in New York City!–also participated. As did Palo Alto’s Pinnacle Ventures and DoCoMo Capital and Mayfield Fund. (It’s worth noting that Mayfield previously backed another flash sales venture, the troubled startup BuyWithMe, which was acquired by Gilt Groupe, the mother of flash sales sites, after major layoffs. Gilt Groupe, of course, later faced its own brutal round of layoffs.) Existing investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, Menlo Ventures, and Baroda Ventures also participated.
In a blog post on Betashop, dated for tomorrow–guess the Journal beat ‘em to it–CEO Jason Goldberg said financing will be put towards making Fab “the definitive global brand synonymous with design,” noting Atomico’s success in helping portfolio companies scale globally:
The new round of financing was led by Atomico. Atomico is an international technology investment firm focused on helping the world’s most disruptive technology companies reach their full potential on a global scale. Atomico was founded by Niklas Zennström, the co-founder of Skype. I first met Niklas and his partner, Geoff Prentice, back in March of this year. I was immediately struck with their long term view of our business and their perspective on the potential for the Fab brand. Through our discussions it became clear that Niklas, Geoff, and the entire Atomico team shared our vision for Fab. We believe that we have a special opportunity to create one of the world’s next great brands. We believe that Fab can become the definitive global brand synonymous with design. We also know that it will take a steady focus on making our customers smile. It’s not a leap to compare Fab with Skype itself, and with another Atomico investment, Rovio — the makers of Angry Birds. Like Skype and Rovio, Fab is focused on developing and nurturing our long term brand relationship with our customers. We’re building a franchise based on a consistent, thoughtful experience that puts customers first, not profits. We’re focused more on ensuring the long term success of that franchise than we are with near term gains. We’re in this for the long haul. Atomico is the perfect partner to help us grow.
Atomico is already helping us with our global expansion through their impressive footprint in London, Tokyo, Beijing, São Paulo and Istanbul.
Somewhere in Manhattan, we bet Gilt Groupe is shaking its head with some words of wisdom about growth that seems too good to be true. But this does explains the elated atmosphere at Fab headquarters last night where Mr. Goldberg got on stage for the “Fabby Awards.” Here’s a recent video from Fab on their spectacular run over the past year: