It’s not, like, a billion dollars, but it’s sure not chump change, either. Online “flash” sale pioneer Gilt Groupe is seeking to up to $138 million in an offering of preferred shares, according to a state securities filing.
New York-based Gilt,which has raised $83 million in venture funding over the past three years, could not be reached for comment. The company, best known for its 36-hour sales of luxury and designer goods, counts Matrix Partners and General Atlantic as its chief backers. Its last round, which closed in May of last year, totaled $35 million.
Gilt Groupe’s most recent filing, with the Delaware Division of Corporations, authorizes the sale of just under 5 million shares of “Series E Preferred Stock” at $27.68 per share. That represents a steep share price gain over the Series D round a year ago, which valued shares at $14 each, according to an analysis of the latest filing by VC Experts,a private company research provider.
That Gilt could be poised to secure a significantly larger round just a year later should come as no surprise to anyone tracking valuation trends in the fast-growing space referred to as social commerce. Last month, “daily deal” provider LivingSocial confirmed it had raised $400 million in investments from private and public investors, bringing total capital raised to more than $600 million. BuyWithMe, a Matrix-backed site that also markets local discount deals, this week acquired DealADayOnline, a group buying site focused in the Chicago area.
Of course, the most notable example of a rapidly escalating valuation is Groupon, which rejected a reported $6 billion buyout offer from Google, believing it could attract a higher valuation as a stand-alone entity.
Gilt, for its part, has been expanding rapidly. According the company website, Gilt Groupe has over three million members, and sales offerings including clothing, home décor items and luxury travel packages. The company has also been expanding internationally. It currently runs a Japanese flash sale site and in April announced the opening of an international headquarters and software development center in Dublin, its first European operation.