Frager Factor

Monday, September 08, 2014

Fancy (.com) and Honest (.com) Both Eying $$Billion IPOs

We can't be sure how much a one word dictionary domain adds to the value of the branding in these cases, but it sure doesn't hurt. Neither does the star power of Jessica Alba fronting for while Will Smith stays behind the scenes as an investor in

Take the case of which, according toNameBio was acquired in December of 2011 for just $180,000 on GoDaddy. The sales of is not disclosed but I do know that it was sold by domainer Jim Leissler to web developer KENNY BAVOSO in September of 2012, put under GoDaddy privacy shortly thereafter and remains under privacy guard through today. But if the domain is worth 10% of the business you are looking at $100 Million and just 1% would be $10 million showing how much wiggle room there is in the real world.

I do know that rebranding from Thing Daemon Inc to has to had made a difference. Yesterday I blogged about Jessica Alba's IPO following up to may article about them last week.

Actress Jessica Alba’s social enterprise The Honest Company recently revealed it raised $70 million and is planning an IPO, though when that might be is unclear. 

Alba co-founded the company in Jan. 2012 after  having her first child and discovering that it was next to impossible to find baby products that didn’t contain any potentially toxic elements.  (I’ve written about it here and here). With friend Chris Gavigan who was heading a children’s health organization,  they decided to form a company that would develop, make and sell diapers and other baby products using only non-toxic, environmentally –friendly ingredients. (Disposable diapers, for example, would use plant-based materials as opposed to petrochemicals). Suppliers would have to comply with human rights and environmental standards.  And they would give a portion of revenues and profits to charities. They enlisted Kane to run operations, along with Brian Lee, an ecommerce veteran, as CEO.

The company launched with 12 personal care and cleaning products; it now has 85, including such things as a line of supplements.  Most of its sales are from monthly subscriptions, but customers can also buy one-off items online. And products are available in Target TGT -0.85%, Costco and other stores.

Similarly, The ustomer-curated Web retailer of luxury household goods, which lets customers “fancy” an item, raised $53 million last year, has been holding discussions to sell itself for about $1 billion after struggling to raise financing, according to people familiar with the matter.

The startup has held talks with eBay Inc., said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. The status of those talks is unclear. The Fancy had been working to raise a round of financing at a valuation of around $1.2 billion, Bloomberg News reported in June.

The Fancy, based in New York, last year raised $53 million from investors including American Express Co., billionaire Len Blavatnik and actor Will Smith at a valuation of $600 million. The startup is having talks with strategic buyers after months of trying to find investors for more funding at the higher value, said the people familiar with the matter.

The company, which used to be called Thing Daemon Inc., sells luxury lifestyle items such as $9 waterproof lights to put in cocktails, $205 magnetic coat hangers and a $120 bird feeder that connects with an iPhone to take pictures of birds. When a potential customer likes an item, they can buy it or click to “fancy” it, giving it higher prominence on the site. The items can be bought without leaving The Fancy’s website.

EBay, based in San Jose, California, is in a position to increase its dealmaking. The company, led by CEO John Donahoe, in April said it’s taking a $3 billion tax charge to potentially return $9 billion in profits to the U.S. The money could be returned to shareholders or used for acquisitions, executives said at the time.

In a July interview, EBay’s president of the marketplace business, Devin Wenig, said he anticipated consolidation in the e-commerce market.

Thanks to Forbes and Internet Retailer and to you for listening.

About The Author: Owen Frager is an Internet marketing expert ready to help take your company to the next level.

Contact Owen: Twitter | Google+ | Facebook | LinkedIn | Email