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The past few months have been very good to e-commerce companies concentrating on specific verticals. In September, eyeglasses startup Warby Parker said it raised $36.8 million; last month, Zulily, the deals site for moms, babies and kids, said that it raised $85 million; and, on Tuesday, home decor site One Kings Lane said it raised $50 million in Series D financing, bringing its total funding to $117 million.
The round was led by Institutional Venture Partners, with participation from other previous investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Greylock Partners and Tiger Global Management and new investor Scripps Network Intractive, which operates HGTV and the DIY channel.
“When it comes to media companies, they are really the leaders in lifestyle content and have a huge following in home decor enthusiasts,” said One Kings Lane CEO Doug Mack. “We thought it would be great to have a backer with that kind of expertise.”
As consumers use smartphones and tablets more for shopping, Mack said, a major focus going forward will be mobile and tech investments. On the heels of the company’s first national TV ad campaign, it plans to invest more in marketing and branding, as well as in merchandising and services, he said.
Looking at the broader e-commerce landscape, he said, vertically-focused companies like San Francisco-based One Kings Lane are emerging as the companies with the strongest profitability profile and potential for longevity. But they will also be challenges to keep up with consumers’ migration to mobile, he said.
“I feel that the world is moving to mobile first faster than any company ever imagined,” he said. “Our rate of investment in mobile will only have to be accelerated.”
When we caught up with One Kings Lane this summer, it had recently hired a new CTO, Jean Sini, a former head of engineering for Mint.com, to go “all in” on mobile.
As evidence of the growing power of mobile platforms, Mack said that this Thanksgiving, 50 percent of the company’s traffic came from mobile, which was a surprise considering that the holiday has historically been quieter.
The company expects to reach $200 million in annualized revenues in 2012, with 25 percent of monthly revenues coming from mobile purchases. It says it launches up to 3,000 new home products each day and counts more than six million consumers among its members.