I’ve been absolutely fascinated by the meteoric rise of Zulily, the Seattle daily deal site which now boasts more than four million members who turn to it every day to get discounts on baby gear, kids’ clothing and maternity wear. But is a Zulily a fast-growing technology company or just a flash in the pan?
I was asked that question the other day during a presentation, and it was hard to argue with those folks who wondered whether Zulily had any real defensible IP. Now, comes word from Zulily chairman Mark Vadon who actually confirms that Zulily is more of an execution play.
In an interview with Forbes, Vadon says that Zulily — which has grown to 310 employees and 10 photography studios — is “more QVC than Amazon.”
It is fascinating comment, in part because most entrepreneurs (including Jeff Bezos) do everything they can to tout the technological aspects of what they do.
But Vadon, who previously founded online jewelry retailer Blue Nile, appears to be saying: “Hey, it’s OK to run a business that’s about serving a need.”
Zulily isn’t profitable yet, but the company is looking to top $150 million in revenue this year. (Making it one of the rising stars of the Seattle startup community).
The story also makes a passing reference to my previous report on Zulily’s $43 million financing round, in which I noted that the valuation topped $700 million. Vadon doesn’t dispute that number, which interestingly is more than $200 million more than where Blue Nile is currently valued.
Asked whether Zulily can become bigger than Blue Nile, the 41-year-old tells Forbes: “It’s growing much faster already. But that’s like asking someone if they like their second child better than the first.”
Previously on GeekWire: Meet Darrell Cavens: The guy who just raised $43M and wants to change how moms shop for kids