AHAlife.com said it raised $10.1 million in Series B funding in a deal led by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. Existing investors DCM and FirstMark Capital also participated. The company, which operates an e-commerce site for luxury goods, has now raised a total of $19.1 million.
AHAlife.com Raises $10.1m Series B Round From Japan-based Rakuten and Existing Investors DCM and FirstMark Capital
April 26, 2012 (New York, NY) – AHAlife.com, the leading editorialized e-commerce platform for luxury goods and curated gifts, has raised $10.1 million in Series B funding, led by Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce company. Existing investors DCM and FirstMark Capital also participated in the round, bringing the company’s total funding to $19.1 million. Proceeds from the funding will be used to accelerate future growth.
AHAlife.com connects the best the world has to offer to the most discerning and sophisticated consumers globally, shipping its wide variety of lifestyle items to over 100 countries and accepting 42 major currencies. The dynamic site has been embraced by the industry with its distinctive positioning and core value to redefine the consumer experience in the digital space as the only true online luxury marketplace. Since site launch in September 2010, AHAlife.com has garnered an extensive curator network including tastemakers such as chef Daniel Boulud, model and philanthropist Petra Nemcova, trendsetter Olivia Palermo, filmmaker Wendi Murdoch, and spiritual adviser Deepak Chopra.
“AHAlife.com has developed a strong online following in curating luxury brands from around the world,” said Rakuten founder and CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, adding “The AHAlife.com team are experts in the full price luxury market and we see enormous global market opportunity in their business model. By digitally telling the stories behind products, their creators, and curators, AHAlife.com is promoting conscious consumption, a value of increasing importance to consumers in the U.S., Asia, and around the world.”
“As we looked toward international expansion, particularly in Asia, Rakuten emerged as the strongest partner with their operational excellence and dominant market share in Japan,” said AHAlife.com founder and CEO, Shauna Mei. In Japan, 79% of web users (75 million consumers) are members of Rakuten’s marketplace, giving Rakuten an appoximate 30% share of the Japanese e-commerce market. “We believe that Asian consumers will identify with AHAlife.com’s mission to give them access to hand selected exceptional products, as they have a high level of appreciation for quality and innovation as well as the story behind what they are purchasing,” added Mei.
AHAlife.com previously raised $9 million in funding from DCM, FirstMark Capital, and angel investors, including former French Minister of Commerce, Renaud Dutreil; philanthropist and filmmaker, Abigail Disney; and Pulitzer Prize winner Sheryl WuDunn.
About AHAlife Holdings, Inc.:
AHAlife.com connects the best the world has to offer to the most discerning individuals from around the globe. Founded in September 2010 by MIT engineer-turned commerce and media industry expert, Shauna Mei, AHAlife.com received wide media acclaim hailing its full price full value business model and being ahead of the major industry trend merging content, curation and commerce. The New York City based media-meets-e-commerce company continuously showcases and sells new hand-selected items and tells the story behind the making of the product, along with designer and curator profiles, and a journey inside the creative process. The mission was to create a sustainable platform delivering the most unique items directly to a global audience of intelligent, sophisticated consumers. The unparalleled offering of hand-selected products ranges from beauty to fashion, technology, food and home décor and are all united by their superior quality, unique provenance and innovation. The diverse product selection offers consumers a discovery shopping experience each time they visit the site.
DCM is an early stage venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Tokyo with more than $2 billion under management. DCM has investments in more than 140 technology companies across the United States and Asia and provides hands-on operational guidance and a global network of business and financial resources. DCM has backed industry-leading companies such as 51job, About.com, Clearwire, eDreams, Foundry Networks, Kabu.com, Sling Media, SMIC, and VanceInfo as well as upcoming startups such as Bill.com, Bridgelux, Happy Elements, PapayaMobile and Trion Worlds. Recent successes include China-based IPOs: Renren, BitAuto, DangDang, Luxin and VIPShop and US-based M&A and IPOs: Fortinet, PGP (Symantec) and Sandforce (LSI.)
About FirstMark Capital:
Based in New York City, FirstMark Capital is an early stage venture capital firm investing in visionary entrepreneurs who are creating new markets with innovative technology solutions or fundamentally changing existing markets by applying a fresh approach or new business model. FirstMark partners early in a company’s lifecycle, offering deep industry insight, a broad network of relationships and the operational expertise to build lasting businesses. Select historical investments include Riot Games (Acquired by Tencent); Duck Creek Technologies (Acquired by Accenture); Netgear; Boomi (Acquired by Dell); StubHub (Acquired by eBay); Netegrity (Acquired by CA); OutlookSoft (Acquired by SAP); and Navic Networks (Acquired by Microsoft). Current investments include: Pinterest, Knewton, Aereo, SecondMarket, Shopify, Lot18 and Lumosity.