Little Black Bag, the social commerce site carrying a collection of women’s merchandise, closed a $8 million Series B round led by GRP Partners and including VC investor DCM. To date, the company has reeled in $10.75 million. Little Black Bag is based in Los Angeles, California.
Little Black Bag Announces $8 Million Series B Funding
Social Shopping Site Brings a Thrill to eCommerce; Introduces Brands to Highly Engaged Online Shoppers
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. – August 16, 2012 – Little Black Bag (LBB), a six month old social commerce site that offers a personalized collection of brand name women’s merchandise, today announced an $8 million Series B funding round led by GRP Partners, with participation from DCM. This brings the total funding raised to date to $10.75 million. The company will use the funds to expand its world class marketing and merchandising teams, drive customer acquisition, add new brand partners and bring even more excitement to shopping online.
Launched in early 2012, Little Black Bag offers shoppers an entirely new online shopping experience, inspired by the Japanese “fukubukuro,” or lucky bag sale concept. On LBB, customers buy a personalized mystery bag filled with women’s fashion products and then trade the items with others – all online. The fun and excitement of the trading experience is electric and unique; LBB has pioneered an entirely new way to shop online. “Little Black Bag has built a social network built around shopping. The engagement metrics, social interactions and traffic patterns are unlike any eCommerce company I’ve seen,” said Mark Suster, partner at GRP Partners.
Currently enabling over one million trades per month, Little Black Bag provides an entertainment-based shopping experience that inspires the kinds of thrills found on shows like HSN or sales events such as Black Friday. “Every customer trade drives engagement and consideration. The decision of whether to send or accept a trade offer encourages creativity – it’s like a game,” said Co-Founder and CEO Dan Murillo, “Little Black Bag is generating over 10 million peer-to-peer brand impressions per month across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. We’ve seen the delight our shoppers take in trading and interacting with others. This has made LBB an important social marketing and discovery platform for brands, and driven significant revenue in the process.”
Little Black Bag is at the intersection of three major categories: social media, eCommerce and gaming, and the experience weaves the best elements of each category in a brilliant way. The company has seen rapid growth since launch, driven primarily through word-of-mouth marketing. In a world in which brands find it increasingly difficult to reach new customers, Little Black Bag offers a new experience that enables users to market on behalf of brands. For example in July, L’Oréal USA’s Redken brand teamed up with LBB on a ‘social sampling program.’ Every user received one of 11 different premium Redken samples and they were encouraged to trade, post, and tweet about them resulting in over 1M social media impressions. President David Weissman adds, “because of the trading experience, our customers are naturally engaging with product they have never seen before. This makes LBB an amazing discovery and acquisition environment for brands.”
While there are new ecommerce models catering to nearly every demographic segment online, Little Black Bag’s mission is more expansive. It aims to make online shopping fun. As one user recently tweeted, “@LBBag…Seriously, I feel like I just hit the biggest candy store ever ;).”
“We knew Little Black Bag had great potential for early and immediate growth,” said David Chao, general partner at DCM. “When we invested in the Series A, we made a bet that the experience would find a happy heart among online shoppers. The early results tell us that this is certainly the case. With the Series B, we believe that Little Black Bag will become the definitive social shopping community online – and that is incredibly exciting.”
About GRP Partners
GRP Partners was founded in 1996 with the mission to help entrepreneurs achieve their goals of building big, transformative businesses. The partners of GRP have been involved with many startups over the years, of which 15 stand out companies have achieved exit valuations above $1 billion. We’re proud of this accomplishment and the diversity of teams that we’ve backed – notably that all of our biggest wins have come from outside of Silicon Valley. GRP’s last fund is the single best performing fund in the United States according to the independent industry database, Preqin. (Preqin 2000 Vintage Funds >$100mm)
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 150 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.)