JustFab Acquires Christina Applegate's Startup FabKids to Expand to Kid's Clothing

BetaKit last covered fashion subscription service JustFab in July 2012, when the company raised a whopping $76 million and announced it was on track for $100 million in 2012 sales. The company confirmed today that it met that sales goal, and today is announcing its first acquisition of 2013, purchasing children’s ecommerce brand FabKids for an undisclosed amount.

To date JustFab has been primarily focused on women’s accessories, including shoes and bags, so this acquisition will help with their goal of expanding into new categories, starting with children’s clothing. FabKids launched in August 2012, and was founded by actress Christina Applegate and ShopStyle founder Andy Moss to sell affordable private label kid’s clothing. The acquisition means JustFab now owns the FabKids brand, and all of its manufacturing and marketing, with plans to launch a FabKids boys clothing line later in 2013.

Moss said in an interview that the FabKids team will stay intact and will work out of their existing office in San Francisco, and the site will continue to operate as a standalone site and a sister brand, though they will be integrating the backend with JustFab’s platform. While he said they weren’t looking for an acquisition (in fact they had just doubled their member base over the holiday season), teaming up gives them access to JustFab’s millions-strong member base.

“We look at it really as an opportunity just to accelerate everything that we’re doing, a huge amount of respect and a cultural fit with the team at JustFab,” Moss said. “If we looked at what we could do in going quicker into the boy’s category, which is something we were always interested in doing, expand our member base much quicker and even get international.”

JustFab now has over 10 million members, up from six million in April 2012, and has launched international versions of its site in Germany, the UK and Canada. It also reports that it is currently shipping over 250,000 packages a month from its fulfillment center in Louisville, KY.

The FabKids acquisition isn’t the first for JustFab, who acquired Heels.com in March 2012. JustFab co-CEO Adam Goldenberg said in an interview that they laid out a four-year roadmap for expanding into new categories of products, and children’s apparel was on that list. He said 25 percent of their members have kids under 10, so it just made sense to expand there now.

“The acquisition is allowing us to enter this category much much sooner than we could have done it, or were planning on doing it, by ourselves,” Goldenberg said.

JustFab moved from a purely monthly subscription-based model in April 2012 and added a pay-as-you-go option. Now most items are $39.95 for members, which is similar to FabKids’ pricing structure, with FabKids also offering discounted prices for members. This isn’t the first time a subscription commerce site has acquired a clothing brand, with monthly delivery service Wittlebee acquiring clothing brand Cottonseed clothing in August 2012. While to date their biggest competitors have been ShoeDazzle and BeachMint, they’re now squarely in competition with kids ecommerce brands like Gap Kids, as well as kids consignment sites like thredUP.

With sales going from $28 million to over $100 million in 2012, not to mention tens of millions in funding, the site seems to be poised to be an ecommerce powerhouse for not just women’s accessories, but a variety of other categories. While Goldenberg said their international sales only represent a small part of their total sales, they will be focusing on building out their international brands this year. Whether they can replicate their success in the U.S. in international markets, especially while expanding their categories at the same time, remains to be seen.

 

Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Erin has covered startups and technology for over three years in publications including Sprouter Weekly, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Mashable, and VentureBeat. She also writes a regular startup column for the Financial Post, and is a technology expert on CTV News Channel. Before BetaKit Erin worked as Director of Content & Communications at Sprouter from its launch in 2009 until its acquisition by Postmedia Network Inc. She was recently named one of Marketing Magazine's 30 Under 30 in 2012.

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