Lot18 announced that it has has raised $30 million in a third round of capital.
The year-old New York-based site started selling wine online one year ago. The invite-only site had a $10 million second round of funding in May with a first one of $3 million.
In response to the new funding, founder Philip James said in an interview, “That’s pretty huge for us. We are a year old. We launched on Nov. 10, and it’s a little bit of a surprise that we raised an A, B and C in such a short period of time.”
James noted the site’s rapid growth justified its funding. According to AllThings D, Lot18 has grown to 90 employees, added 600,000 members and sold 500,000 bottles of wine in the last year. It has also added the product categories “Gourmet” (sells food) and “Experience,” (sells travel).
It’s a different company as it doesn’t carry inventory or a warehouse, it is a marketplace. It offers between 10 and 20 new products daily including wine, travel and food. Users receive a daily email and if they either don’t purchase anything or open the emails, the Lot18 emails will drop off in frequency.
Yes, there have been comparisons to Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN).
James said of the company, “We are blurring the line between content and commerce,” he said. “It’s for people who care about what they eat and drink. Even if they don’t buy it, they like learning about it.”
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