Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? That leap in revenue since 2007 landed the flash sale site ideeli at the top of Inc. magazine’s list of the fastest-growing private companies in 2011. Among the reasons for the site’s now $77.7 million yearly revenue is its “mass affluent and aspirational” customer demographic, so called by Paul Hurley, the company’s CEO.
Hurley points out to Inc. that this audience (with over 4 million site members) is larger than Gilt Groupe’s, which has higher revenues than ideeli and a reputedly higher-end client base. However, as Gilt Groupe looks to expand its own profits by moving into full retail territory, discount-committed ideeli might be the flash sale site with the right idea. Their efforts have centered around proactive relationships with suppliers, selling on both consignment and pre-purchased overstock, and aggressive streamlining of their Manhattan-based operation.
Hurley believes ideeli can grow into a multi-billion dollar company based on ratcheting up the categories it already offers (women’s, men’s, and children’s apparel, home goods, travel discounts, and daily deals). We want to bet that he’s right.