I’m a big fan of members only flash sales sites; which take a Gilt-like model to sell high-end clothing, hotel rooms, home goods and more at 50 to 70 percent off retail prices. So when decided to try out Exclusively.In, a members-only shopping site for fashion, jewelry and home decor from Indian artisans and designers I was intrigued to see if a niche-site could draw a fair amount of traffic from a broader audience. It looks like Accel seems to think so—Exclusively.In has just raised $2.8 million from both Accel Partners and Helion Venture Partners.
The site features high-end traditional Indian apparel as well as more modern, Indian-inspired clothing. And the startup includes scarves, jewelry, handbags, crafts, paintings, photography and other home goods made by Indian designers.
Since Exclusively.In’s launch June, the company’s co-founder and CEO Sunjay Guleria says the site has experienced strong demand from a broad base of consumers, not just the Indian diaspora, as “Indian-infused” fashion and decorations go mainstream.
While Guleria declined to name how many members the site has, he did say that over 65 percent of its members make repeat purchases with the average purchase hovering around $250 ion the site. Currently Exclusively.In ships orders directly from India to the U.S., but will eventually expand to Canada, the U.K. and India in early 2011. The site is also looking to expand to other verticals, such as travel. Over the past few months, Exclusively.in has featured deals from the Taj Hotel Group for the company’s hotels all over the world.
It’s certainly interesting to see that niche flash sales sites like Exclusively.In are growing and finding a loyal userbase, and a vote of confidence from well-known investors. Gilt’s revenue was expected to reach close to $500 million this year, so even as a niche site, Exclusively.In could pull in decent sales. Or it could be a possible acquisition target.
One thing is for sure. My wallet is a little lighter after my visit to the site.