Fab.com Secures $8.0 Million in Series A Financing Round
We’re truly humbled by the way so many people have embraced Fab.com so quickly. Our own greatest design is the Fab.com customer experience and we’re committed to making it better and better. This new financing round will go a long way towards building out our vision as the world’s leading resource for design.
Our Series A round of financing was led by Menlo Ventures. Several existing investors also participated, including: First Round Capital, Baroda Ventures, The Washington Post Company, Fab.com’s founder and CEO Jason Goldberg, SoftTech VC, SV Angel, Ashton Kutcher - Guy Oseary and A-Grade Investments, and Zelkova Ventures. A number of angel investors also took part including: Kevin Rose, Jon Anderson, Don Baer, Josh Kushner, Dave Morgan, Ben Ling, and David Tisch.
Fab.com will use the funds to scale the business, grow our base of designers, expand sales categories, and build more community and engagement features.
Thanks so much for your interest and support as we build this.
The CEO of a startup must be the primary product manager
One of my more controversial viewpoints is that the CEO of a startup must be the primary product manager.
My extreme position on this is that I am personally responsible for every last pixel that makes it onto the screen. There is no better use of my time than to ensure the user experience maps exactly to the vision my co-founder and I have for the site.
In fact, I’d sooner let someone else manage “the business” then to turn my attention away from the user experience.
In my first company a lot of people cautioned me not to focus on the product, rather to focus on managing the managers. This was entirely wrong. There’s a reason why Apple is so successful - Steve Jobs owns the product. I once had someone lecture me not to be Steve Jobs. They said that everyone hates working for Steve, don’t be Steve Jobs. F-that. Steve Jobs wins. You win by insisting it’s done the way you want it done and ensuring that the company’s most tangible asset — the user experience — is exactly the way you want it to be.
Unfortunately, Fab.com experienced an outage from 11:10 am to 11:29 am Eastern today due to a server overload issue. During the outage, no users we able to access the site. This was our first outage since launch of June 9, 2011.
We have rectified the problem and we are doing everything we…
Here are common mistakes people make when applying:
Far too many people just send in their resume without any cover letter.
Worse are people who blindly send in their resume without a cover letter for a position they are not remotely qualified for and where their experience doesn’t match at all. Do they think magic will just happen and they’ll get picked out of the hat?
You would be surprised at how many people send a cover letter referencing a different job opening. Lazy copy/paste = no chance, regardless of how qualified your are.
Here’s what great applicants do:
Write a thoughtful cover letter showing that they (a) have done some research on our company, (b) have the type of qualifications and experience we are looking for, and (c) have enthusiasm for the types of problems we are trying to solve.
Tailor their resume to suit the position we are hiring for.
Get someone they know to help make an introduction to someone on our team.
The first 30 days of Fab.com have been an extraordinary ride that has vastly exceeded even our greatest expectations.
We are thrilled at the way people have embraced our website and our core belief that everyone can benefit from making design more approachable and affordable.
Our membership has swelled to more than 300,000 people, up more than 60% from our June 9 launch, as the word is getting around about Fab.com delivering a great daily dose of design inspiration and sales.
We chalk up our initial traction to 3 factors:
Our laser-like focus on our one thing: design. That’s all we do. Fab.com is design.
Daily wow products. It is such a rush for us to be able to work with so many incredible designers across a wide range of categories, to help introduce their design objects to a mass market of consumers via Fab.com. Every day we’re introducing unique products on Fab.com not found on other sites.
A hunger amongst consumers for good design that is practical, affordable, and fun. It certainly helps that design is social too. People love sharing design inspirations and finds!
What you see today on Fab.com is just the very beginning. We have a big vision to make Fab.com the world’s most valued resource for design. We’re excited about our first 30 days, but even more excited about what the future holds for Fab.com. We’ll be making rapid improvements to our technology and enhancing the overall experience for our members, while introducing more design categories, delivery models, and working with even more fantastic designers.
Below, in my continued attempt to be transparent about our business, I present some of The Numbers Behind Fab.com’s First 30 Days.
Since our launch on June 9, 2011:
We’ve achieved more than $1.3 million of revenue in our first 30 days.
Our company is profitable in our first month, with 45 team members. (yay!)
More than 10,000 of our 300,000 members have made at least 1 purchase (3.3%), many of them more than 1.
Half of the 300,000 members have come from viral invites — typically from email, Facebook, or Twitter shares.
More than 25,000 products have been purchased.
Since July 1 we’ve had more than 1000 purchases per day.
Our site has had 1.4M total visits, so nearly $1 value per visit.
Our members have made more than 100 purchases of $1000 or more
And more than 350 purchases of $500 or more.
Our members purchased more than 1500 each of: Out of Print T-Shirts and Melissa & Doug Toys.
And more than 1000: subscriptions to Dwell Magazine and KidRobot toys.
And more than 500: Bedol Water-Powered Clocks, TIVI Wood & Metal Jewelry, Declaration T-shirts, Design Glut Conversation PIeces, Ogon Metal Wallets, Black & Blum Cutting Edge Kitchen Items, and Knork Modern Flatware.
50% of the 200 3-day sales we’ve run on Fab.com sold more than 100 units per sale.
And, our conversion rate of website visitors to purchasers keeps getting better and better, even as we layer on more members and more traffic.
And, we’re just getting started.
I share the data above so that interested parties can get a feel for the business were trying to create here at Fab.com. I know it’s rather unusual for private companies to share the numbers like this; I’m hopeful that sharing such data will help people understand us and get to know us better.
Ultimately, the numbers above just reflect demand for connecting designers with consumers who are interested in their wares. Hopefully our platform will continue to achieve that. And then some. We’re truly humbled by the response and opportunity.
My latest realization is that it’s much more stressful to run a startup that is doing exceptionally well from the start vs. the normal slow ramp-up.
In the usual slow ramp-up case, you know that you cannot fix things over night and so you hunker down and work on incremental steady improvements, looking for glimmers of traction and then trying to optimize around them.
In the hyper-growth case — which we’re in now at Fab.com — the fear is fucking it up…and figuring out how to grow even faster. I find myself scouring the data to find things that are not working vs. looking for things that are.
High class problems to have, but very stressful nonetheless.