Fab.com Flip-Flops on Fashion, Acquires Indie Marketplace FashionStake

Last July, after the freshly launched design flash sale site Fab.com had landed its first round of venture funding (a cool $8 million, led by Menlo Ventures), founder Jason Goldberg touted the site’s diverse mix of merch, from chairs and stationery to bikes and biscotti. There was just one category he said that the company would steer clear of: fashion. “We don’t have any ambition in the fashion category,” Goldberg told Venturebeat, in what sounded like an attempt to differentiate his site from the flash-sale fray (read: Gilt Groupe). “That’s more about liquidation; our model is more about opening a new channel for suppliers.” Five months and $40 million in Series B funding later, Fab.com has flip-flopped on fashion and acquired FashionStake, which launched in the fall of 2010 as a kind of Kickstarter-style fundraising platform for independent fashion designers and evolved into an Etsy-like marketplace for their wares. “We’re going to do the exact same thing we’ve done with design products to fashion,” wrote Goldberg today in a blog post announcing the deal. “Make no mistake, we’re keenly aware that there are plenty of sites that sell high-end fashion for a discount. That’s not Fab. We’re doing fashion the Fab way; designed to make you smile.” Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but FashionStake founders Vivian Weng and Daniel Gulati will be joining Fab.com. According to Weng and Gulati, FashionStake will relaunch on Fab.com in mid-February.