One of the hottest eCommerce companies, New York-based Fab, is barely two years old but it has got the world on notice – whether for the right or wrong reasons. It has raised $310 million in venture capital, with the most recent round bringing in $150 million at a mind-boggling valuation of $1 billion. The company’s growth has put the company into a harsh media spotlight that seems to be bugging CEO Jason Goldberg.
Goldberg took to the web to respond to an article in Bloomberg that questioned his management style and how things were not as rosy as it seems at Fab. Bloomberg article focused extensively on company culture, and that seems to have gotten under Goldberg’s skin.
You can read those articles yourselves, but here are some data points that are worth sharing: The company had 2012 sales of $115 million, versus an expected $140 million. It clocked sales of $45 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 and brought in $40 million in the first quarter of 2013. It spent $40 million on marketing (but is looking to reduce its marketing expenses to $30 million in 2013) and it has 650 employees. It is still losing money.
While Fab’s current growth trajectory is impressive, we all know how the eCommerce gods can get angry, almost instantly. Amazon (s AMZN) had to go through a reality check at the turn of the century, and Design Within Reach — which was analogus to Fab during the retail boom at one time —was a shiny shooting star before falling down to earth. Given the high valuation of Fab, I wonder if Fab should take a run at Design Within Reach, a retail chain with very similar product line-up and ideology.