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Pivotal Moves

Pivotal Moves

Fab.com’s ‘Fabulis’ Pivot: 800 Percent Growth and 500,000 Users in Ten Weeks

fab

Kevin Ryan may be moving away from the flash sites that put Gilt Groupe on the map, but the sales device seems to be working just fine for Fab.com. After a smooth landing on a successful triple pivot [Ed Note: our bad, original idea plus two pivots does not equal three!]–from a daily deals site for gay men called Fabulis, to a flash sales sites for gay men, to a flash site for design for everyone, regardless of gender or sexuality–GigaOm reports that Fab.com has grown 800 percent since May. It’s only been ten weeks, but the site is already approaching the 500,000 user mark. The key, according to CEO Jason Goldberg,  lies in part with a little feature they like to call the “inspiration wall.” Read More

Pivotal Moves

Yext Pivots Into Local Business Listings and the Investors Come A’Fundin’

yext_locations-300x243

Ain’t no shame in the pivot game, especially not when looking beyond your first idea can pay off so handsomely. Yext CEO Howard Lerman sent out an email today announcing that his start-up just raised $10 million Series D round from led by its inside investors WGI Group, the investment vehicle run by entrepreneurs Michael Walrath, Jonah Goodhart, and Noah Goodhart. The internal round raises the company’s valuation higher than the $25 million valuation it got for its series C round two years ago.

But rather than use the funding to continue on building its initial premise–pay-per-call ads for local business–Mr. Lerman is thinking bigger toward what TechCrunch once called, “The Anti-Google Local Advertising Alliance.”

Since 2007, the company grew Yext Calls into 15 verticals that cover roughly 200,000 potential business locations around the country. It was enough to get Mr. Lerman interest from would-be buyers. But it wasn’t enough for Mr. Lerman: Read More

Pivotal Moves

Fab.com Lands a Rare Triple Pivot Into a $8 M. Round

ballet pivot

Fab.com has gone from a social network for gay men to a flash sales site for gay men to a flash sales site focused on design. The final iteration seems to have done the trick, as the company added the 150,000th user in its first 45 days and just raised a big $8 million round led by Menlo Ventures.

Fab founder Jason Goldberg is a big fan of the pivot, even when that means starting from scratch. There must be something in the water at the First Round Capital offices, which has seen two portfolio companies, Fabulis/Fab and Stickybits/Turntable.fm, pivot out of dead end businesses and into big rounds within the last month.

Pivotal Moves

Gojee and the Two Pivots

Mr. Lavalle.

Last week, the recently-launched curated recipe site Gojee scored a pick-up from swissmiss, a design blog and studio run by Tina Roth Eisenberg, which called Gojee “a beautifully designed new food lover destination.” Swissmiss referred more users than a review by TechCrunch, co-founder Michael Lavelle told Betabeat this morning. “She put us up last Wednesday and it was pretty much insanity from that point on,” he said, comparing the site’s growth to the viral new music lover destination, Turntable.fm. “The post sent us 10,000 sign-ups in 24 hours, and it blew up from there.”

But Gojee wasn’t always a beautifully designed new food lover destination.  Read More