Gilt Groupe, Inc., an invitation-only shopping website, has raised $138m in funding.
- Japanese telecommunications, internet and media company SOFTBANK Group, which committed $62.5m,
- existing backers General Atlantic and Matrix Partners,
- a group of new partners including Goldman Sachs, New Enterprise Associates, Draper Fisher Jurvetson Growth, Pinnacle Ventures, TriplePoint Capital and Eastward Capital.
In addition to the investment, SOFTBANK Group has made contributions of cash, services, and intangible property into Gilt Groupe Japan, to establish a joint venture between the two companies, representing a 50% stake for SOFTBANK Group in that business.
Commenting on the transaction, Peter Glusker, CEO of Gilt Groupe Japan, which was launched in March 2009, said: “This newly formed joint venture with SOFTBANK will allow us to expand our offerings in Japan at a faster rate as well as benefit from SOFTBANK’s unique set of assets and expertise in Japan”.
The other backers invested a total of $75.5m into Gilt Groupe in the US.
The company intends to use the new funds to execute several growth initiatives, including acquisitions, as well as accelerate growth in existing categories and geographies. In the next months, Gilt will launch a gourmet food site as well as a full-price men’s online retail store. They will add to the existing offerings including fashion for women, men and children, home decor, hotels and travel experiences on every continent.
Led by Founder and CEO Kevin Ryan, Gilt Groupe has secured over $240m in financing since establishing operations in November 2007.