Curation is the name of the game for social commerce platform Kitsy Lane, which has just secured $3.5M Series A funding, led jointly by Data Point Capital and Longworth Venture Partners (with further contribution from existing investor Point Judith Capital).
Kitsy Lane is the latest attempt to fuse the Avon direct sales model with social networking; it allows individuals to set up their own flash sales jewellery e-commerce business, providing members with their own online flash sales site to customise and curate, that can populated with products from over 700 Etsy-style jewellery designers.
Integrated with social networks and with an integrated CRM, “all” that boutique owners have to do is promote their flash sales to their friends and friends of friends; all the e-commerce, stock and shipping is taken care of by Kitsy Lane. Boutique owners (a reported 3,500+ of them) earn up to 25% commission on each sale – and can earn commissions from sales from boutique owners they recruit.
It’s an interesting model – combining the urgency of flash sales, with the personal selling and business model of direct sales; if individual boutique owners get exclusives to sell, then the business model could work. We’ve not signed up ourselves, but it’d be cool if boutique owners can ‘bid’ to get first rights to exclusive stock in a Dutch auction with diminishing commissions.
Whether Kitsy Lane has cracked it or not – expect to see similar experiments in other verticals, including opportunities to curate subscription boxes as well as stores.