The Fancy Said Valued at $600 Million as American Express, Will Smith Invest

The Fancy | Source: Fancy.com

NEW YORK, United States — The Fancy, an online shop with items culled by customers, raised $53 million from investors including American Express Co., billionaire Len Blavatnik and actor Will Smith, people familiar with the matter said.

The funding round, which was disclosed last week in a filing that didn’t name the investors, values the company at $600 million, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private.

The financing will aid the expansion of the New York-based company, which sells items like light-up shower heads and alcohol flasks with cigar storage. The site, fancy.com, takes in about $3 million in revenue each month, the person said.

Edward Gilligan, the president of American Express, joined Jack Dorsey, Twitter Inc.’s founder, and Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman of Kering, on The Fancy’s board, according to a regulatory filing.

Michael Silverman, chief operating officer of The Fancy, declined to comment on behalf of the company, which previously was known as Thing Daemon Inc.

The funding round adds to a high-profile year for New York startups. Last month, New York-based Tumblr was acquired by Yahoo! Inc. for $1.1 billion, pouring millions into the coffers of East Coast investors Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures.

Fab.com and MakerBot

Four weeks after that announcement, Manhattan-based online retailer Fab.com Inc. raised $150 million, valuing the company at more than $1 billion, and Brooklyn-based MakerBot, a 3-D printing company, was acquired by a larger competitor for at least $403 million. Last month, New York’s Tremor Video Inc. was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and Jonathan Oringer, the founder of Shutterstock Inc., became Silicon Alley’s first billionaire.

On The Fancy’s site and in its software applications, goods are posted by users who have searched around the Internet for interesting items. Users of the service can say they “fancy” an item, propelling the most popular choices to the front page of the site. The items can be bought without leaving The Fancy’s site, which works out deals with retailers to offer them.

Editors: Crayton Harrison, Kevin Miller, Sarah Frier, Nick Turner