It was only this past weekend that Dave Chase argued in a guest post here on TechCrunch that online media companies should get into e-commerce through group buying and flash sale sites. Ben Lerer, the founder of men’s site Thrillist (and New York City seed investor along with his father Ken) agrees wholeheartedly. He just bought JackThreads, a members-only commerce site that focusses on flash sales for men’s fashion (you know, hoodies, fitted hats, sunglasses, and retro sneakers) . It’s like a grungy Gilte Groupe for guys. If you want to check it out, we have a 1,000 invites for JackThreads here.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but JackThreads is a 10-person shop in Columbus, Ohio that is already profitable and doing millions of dollars in revenue. “It is not a huge transaction,” says Lerer. “I think the potential is massive though.”
JackThreads founder Jason Ross will continue to run the business, which will add an e-commerce revenue stream to Thrillist’s existing advertising revenue. The group buying industry is taking off because it brings together volume purchases in return for significant discounts. JackThreads is honing in on the young male shopper who wants to look good but not spend a lot of time in a store.
Thrillist, of course, already appeals to the exact same audience of young men. “Our guys love this kind of stuff,” says Lerer. Thrillist has a loyal following of 1.8 million subscribers who still get Thrillist’s shopping and nightlife tips primarily through email. It is such a desirable demographic, however, that Lerer expects to reach $10 million in advertising revenue alone this year. JackThreads will continue to operate as a separate site, with cross-promotion from Thrillist.
Something tells me we are going to be seeing more of these media-commerce deals in the near future.