Jason Del Rey

Recent Posts by Jason Del Rey

Heavily Funded Flash-Sale Site Ideeli Is for Sale


As the winners in the flash-sale category start to emerge, one of the earliest heavily funded companies is searching for a buyer.

Ideeli, which has raised more than $100 million in investments to fuel the sale of women’s clothing at discount prices, is currently trying to sell itself, according to several industry executives familiar with the company’s attempts.

The company may also end up considering selling its individual assets, with its database of customer emails potentially being the most valuable one, these sources said. Ideeli raised $12 million this summer, but is said to have been unsuccessful in its attempt to corral more funds since then.

Whatever the exact outcome, it will likely be disappointing for the New York City-based startup, which launched in 2007 and ranked No. 1 on the 2011 Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies, with revenue of $77 million and a three-year growth rate of more than 40,000 percent.

Since then, Gilt Groupe, Rue La La and HauteLook have distanced themselves from Ideeli in both popularity and sales, according to industry observers.

A year ago, the company refocused its efforts around exclusively selling discounted women’s attire, after unsuccessful expansions into travel, men’s and kid’s categories.

Ideeli CEO Stefan Pepe did not respond to several requests for comment.

Investor Laura Sachar, of StarVest Partners, said in an email that the company does not “comment on such matters.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik