Online design sales site Fab.com has acquired Llustre, a similar but much smaller UK design store. The latter company was billed as a “trusted guide” to discovering good design, combined with flash-based sales (up to 70% off the recommended retail price). It now becomes Fab UK.
The company was launched in November of 2011, but it only launched ten weeks ago — so it’s one of the fastest UK exits in recent history. Sources say the deal took less than a month to complete. Although terms were undisclosed we understand this was an all share deal. The team of twenty-four now joins Fab.
The company had raised £1 million (just over $1.5 million) from Oleg Tscheltzo (Founder of Fotolia.com), Hussein Kanji, Rob Kniaz, Tom Hulme (Design Director at IDEO), Kirill Makharinsky (CEO Ostrovok), John Earner (GM Playﬁsh) and Sir Peter Bazalgette (media guru formally with Endemol).
Llustre was founded by Vivienne Bearman a former senior studio producer at Playfish acquired by Electronic Arts (who becomes VP Product and Ops, Fab UK) and Tracy Dorée a former VC with MMC Ventures (who becomes Fab UK’s MD / VP Marketing).
The European home ware and furniture market online is worth £130bn but only 10% of this sector is bought online versus 30% to 40% in women’s fashion. Fab will happily cater to that growing market.
The move comes as Fab — which has 5 million members, is working with over 5,000 designers and has sold 1.8 million products — celebrates its first birthday, and it means it now reaches 20 markets in Europe. Fab has already rolled up its German clones Casacanda and the Fashionstake site in the United States. It’s got access to a million members in Europe now.
Llustre had reached just over 50,000 members in Europe before its acquisition.
Fab’s Maria Molland will now be Fab’s Chief European Officer. She previously ran global businesses and new ventures for Thomson Reuters.
Jason Goldbreg, CEO of Fab, told us Europe was on pace to become 20% of its revenue or of $140m globally.
He said they now have 5 million members worldwide, a fifth of which are in Europe — “And we didn’t exist five months ago in Europe,” he added.
Speaking about Llustre he said “We were really impressed with Tracy, Viv and their team. And We’re gradually also going to start planting seeds outside the US/Eurozone towards developing countries.”
Tracy Doree said “We’re really excited — Fab is the only management team that do things as quickly as Llustre, so we are kick-starting integration and we’re operating like a global team already. Fab already has a great team.”
Vivienne Bearman said “Fab.com have really been leading the social commerce revolution and we are so thrilled to bring that to the UK – Fab is going to change the way the world shops and we get to be part of that!”
LLUSTRE is a new ecommerce business that discovers and sells the best in design for the home. We curate three or more collections per week, and bring our members access to exclusive and limited edition pieces, and the opportunity to purchase at members-only prices. Merging best in class ecommerce functionality with social discovery, gamification, and high quality editorial content, LLUSTRE will be the best place to discover great design for your home.