Photo: Michael Seto
After reports and regulatory filings, Gilt Groupe has confirmed to AllThingsD’s Tricia Duryee that the company has raised $138 million at a $1 billion valuation.The round includes existing investors as well as Softbank as a new investor. Softbank, a Japanese conglomerate with a history of backing US startups going into Japan, is also buying half of Gilt Japan, Gilt’s successful Japanese arm.
Kevin Ryan, the Founder and CEO of the company, said that Gilt is not yet profitable, and that it’s going to use the money to fuel its growth and expand. The company started out a fashion flash sales site but now does travel and has a higher-end Groupon-like service called Gilt City. The next verticals it plans to open up are gourmet food and full-price men’s clothing, and Ryan says they plan to enter one or two new verticals per year for the next few years.
The company is going to need the money to fend off Amazon, which launched a competitor called MyHabit, and the biggest company in the space, France’s Vente Privée, which is expected to enter the US soon.
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