Zulily, The Flash Sales Site For Moms, Files For $100M IPO

Zulily, a private-sale shopping site targeted at busy moms and their kids, has filed its S-1, aiming to raise as much as $100 million in an IPO (this is a placeholder amount and could change).

In its last funding round a year ago, the company was valued at $1 billion. Zulily was co-founded by Darrell Cavens, the former senior vice president of marketing and technology at Blue Nile, and Mark Vadon, the chairman and founder of Blue Nile in 2009. Zulily raised $139 million from Maveron, August Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Trinity Ventures and Meritech Capital Partners.

Similar to other flash-sales sites, Zulily features dozens of new sales events daily that offer up to 70 percent off. Sales last an average of 72 hours and products range from clothing and toys to household goods and books, aiming squarely at moms. To date, Zulily says that it has worked with over 10,000 brands, featured over 1.6 million product styles and sold over 42 million items to over 2.9 million customers across the platform.

In terms of revenue, in 2012, Zulily saw $331.2 million in sales, up 132.4 percent from the previous year. For the first six months of this year, Zulily netted $272 million sales, up 114.2 percent from the six months ended July 1, 2012. For 2012 and the six months ended June 30, 2013, Zulily reported a net loss of $10.3 million and $2.4 million in net income, which the company says was an improvement from net losses of $11.3 million and $6.2 million in 2011 and the six months ended July 1, 2012, respectively.

Other interesting things to note from the filing: Zulily has 2.2 million active customers, or customers who had purchased at least once in the last year, which is an increase of 93.1 percent from the 1.2 million active customers as of July 1, 2012. Zulily generates $214 of revenue per active customer, a 10.9 percent increase from the $193 of revenue per active customer during the 12 months ended July 1, 2012. From June 2012 to June 2013, 82.9 percent of the company’s U.S. orders were placed by customers who had previously purchased from Zulily, up from 79.1 percent during the 12 months ended July 1, 2012.

Mobile is growing for the site; in the second quarter of 2013, 42 percent of Zulily’s U.S. orders were placed from a mobile device, up from approximately 39 percent in the first quarter of 2013 and approximately 31 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Zulily is a breakout from the flash-sales model, which hasn’t been able to churn out as many billion-dollar businesses as once hoped. While there has been a softening of the markets toward consumer-based tech businesses, it will be interesting to see how an e-commerce company is received by investors. It’s debut should also be a predictor for the other giant in the flash sales space, Gilt, which could also be considering a public offering as well.