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One Kings Lane CEO: 25% of Revenue From Mobile

Monday, 24 Dec 2012 | 10:34 AM ET
Doug Mack at DEMO Conference
Source: DEMO Conference | Flickr
Doug Mack at DEMO Conference

As Santa prepares to slide down chimneys around the world this Christmas Eve night, one CEO got an early gift.

The ecommerce retailer, One Kings Lane, secured $50 million in a funding round earlier this month — known as Series D — led by Institutional Venture Partners, with additional investment from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Greylock Partners, Tiger Global Management, and new investor Scripps Networks Interactive, bringing the total amount raised to $117 million.

One Kings Lane is an ecommerce home decor and furnishings retailer, which sells a limited number of unique luxury items for a limited period of time — at discounted prices, albeit, wide-ranging prices from $20 to $20,000.

Doug Mack, CEO of One Kings Lane, thinks media company Scripps Network sees value in the strength of the online retailer's sales growth.

"They share our view of a two screen world, where consumers are sitting at home watching programming on television, with an Apple iPhone or iPad in their lap, surfing the web," Mack said.

Mack continued to elaborate, noting One Kings Lane is on track to do $200 million in sales this year, which is a 100 percent increase over last year.

"As of Q4 we are doing about 25 percent of revenue, not traffic, but revenue, coming via mobile. And that's been steadily climbing through the summer," Mack explained. "On Thanksgiving day itself, 40 percent of revenues came via mobile shopping, so this has gone well past the tipping point and now is a major, major part of our revenue mix."

Unfortunately, retail investors can't profit from One Kings Lane just yet, with 100 percent of the Series D funding round going to "short to mid-range business building, said Mack. "It had nothing to do with setting up an [initial public offering] scenario in the foreseeable future."

When it comes to competition, Mack sees One Kings Lane competing against formidable players in the world of traditional home furnishing retailers like Pottery Barn (owned by Williams-Sonoma) and Crate and Barrel. He noted that in October, One Kings Lane was the number two most visited premium home site in the U.S. on the web according to compete.com — just behind Pottery Barn.

Though without a brick and mortar location, it would be logical to think it's a lot harder to sell a $5,000 sofa that a shopper can't sit on, than a decorative mirror. However, Mack pointed out it's the experience that eventually wins over consumers, something that some flash sales and daily deal sites are having trouble getting right.

"What we often see is [a consumer] that will start small. They will get to experience the quality and uniqueness and differentiation of One Kings Lane in merchandise, and then they will step up and move to lighting, and move to area rugs, and then ultimately move to furniture … right now 75 [percent] of our revenues are from repeat customers," concluded Mack.

-By CNBC's Courtney Reagan; Follow her on Twitter @CourtReagan

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com.

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