Daily deal site Totsy reels in $18.5M as rivalry with Zulily heats up

Call it the battle over the baby brands. New York’s Totsy is turning up the heat on its Seattle rival Zulily, announcing today that it has raised $18.5 million in a second round of funding from Rho Ventures and DFJ Gotham.

Both Totsy and Zulily offer daily deals on a wide assortment of baby and kids products, selling everything from burp cloths and diaper bags to baby apparel and car seats.

Both companies have been expanding rapidly, Zulily’s growth accelerating after it scored a $43 million venture capital round last summer. It now employs more than 300 people in Seattle alone, not counting staff at distribution centers in Nevada and Ohio.

Totsy boasts nearly three million members, while Zulily’s email distribution list now tops more than five million.

While Zulily is certainly the bigger of the two companies in terms of customers and employees, Totsy co-founder and CEO Guillaume Gauthereau said that they are bigger on Facebook and have inked exclusive deals with companies such as Disney and HSN. Furthermore, Gauthereau said that they offer additional products and services such as baby sitting.

“Totsy is an online parenting destination, providing more than just great deals on children related items, but also provides information and resources to better help parents with the task of raising a child,” said Gauthereau. “Unlike competitors, Totsy is not solely focused on moms and consumer goods, but the overall parent/child experience.”

As a result of the funding, Habib Kairouz of Rho Ventures has joined the board of Totsy. Zulily declined to comment for this story.

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