In the midst of a hurricane that is expected to cost businesses and retailers hundreds of millions of dollars, at least one New York based company has good news. Fancy, a Pinterest-like social site, announced that it has raised more than $26 million dollars according to a disclosure form filed with the SEC. Not many details have been released on the fundraising but Fancy added American Express vice chairman Ed Gilligan to its board of directors, raising some speculation that the financial company has joined PPR in backing the social start-up.
Although far more attention has been paid to Pinterest, it’s actually Fancy that is a step ahead, having figured out how to monetize the image sharing platform. Fancy allows merchants or individuals to find products from pinned images and sell them directly through their site. The company then takes a percentage cut of all sales. Unlike other social sites, Fancy also functions much more like a specialty retailer: the site includes a gift guide segmented by price ranges, categories, and colors and even offers users their own affiliate program. Fancy COO Michael Silverman says the platform now has over 2 million registered users, and is averaging more than $200,000 in sales per week just nine month after launching shopping capabilities in February. Fancy’s mobile app is also commerce enabled, opening doors for expansion in the key channel.
Last month, the company further boosted its e-commerce offerings by launching Fancy Box, a $30 monthly subscription that sends users a curated selection of the most “fancy’d” items in categories such as home, gadget, or media. According to Silverman, Fancy Box already has over 6,000 subscribers which will bring in an additional $2-million-plus revenue stream. What the company will now do with its new chunk of change will no doubt be eagerly watched.