They grow up so fast, don’t they? Local social shopping site Lyst, which launched April 2011, has just raised a $5 million Series A. Led by London-based DFJ Esprit, with Accel Partners, Alex Zubillaga and Venrex participating, the round will allow Lyst to staff up and work on building out its back end.
Ironic, right? Considering they’re a fashion startup and all.
Like Pinterest or Tumblr, the site allows users to follow feeds from brands, stores, bloggers, and so forth. That creates a curated feed of products that you might like to perhaps purchase. If you like an item but not the price, you can add it to your “lyst” and receive a notice when it goes on sale.
That creates some technical challenges. Asked about his plans for the cash via email, CEO Chris Morton told us, “The funding will let us continue improving our site and the data behind it - every single day tens of thousands of brand new items come onto Lyst so we’re dealing with some quite complex problems!”
“Our aim is to put the consumer at the centre of the shopping experience: everyone is different, they like different things, so we want to give everyone their own, personalized experience when they shop,” he added.
While they have everyone’s attention, the company also announced it’s been doubling its sales each month for the last three months. Of course, that could mean a lot of things. Mr. Morton told us,
“We don’t disclose our actual sales figures, but last quarter millions of people used Lyst, driving millions of dollars in sales. Our average order value is $300.”
In a statement released with the announcement, DFJ Esprit partner Nic Brisbourne called the company’s potential for expansion “tremendous,” and added,
“Social networking is part of all aspects of life today and fashion brands are keen to gain exposure through channels such as Facebook and Pinterest, with Lyst converting this exposure into purchases. The monies raised will be invested in development, marketing and partnerships to improve the user experience on Lyst and accelerate growth.”
The company will also continue to grow its teams in both New York and London.