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E-retailer Lolly Wolly Doodle raises $20 million
The children’s apparel maker and merchant sells via Facebook.
Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce
Topics: Brandi Temple, consumer brand manufacturers, e-commerce investment, e-mail invoices, Facebook, Instagram, Lolly Wolly Doodle, NewsMakers, online apparel sales, PayPal, Pinterest, product designs, Revolution Growth, social commerce, social media, Steve Case, web-only retailers
Lolly Wolly Doodle Inc., a 5-year-old social commerce company that makes custom children’s apparel products and sells them mostly through Facebook, has raised $20 million in capital. Leading the funding round is Revolution Growth, an investment fund founded by American Online co-founder Steve Case.
Lolly Wolly Doodle has more than 586,000 fans on Facebook, where it regularly promotes product via fans’ newsfeeds. To purchase an item, such as a floral-print dress offered today, a fan clicks the newsfeed listing and enters her e-mail address and requested size; she can also select among available options such as monograms, bows and appliques. Quantities are limited, so not everyone who clicks an item will be able to purchase one, the company says. Lolly Wolly Doodle also modifies its product designs based on the comments it receives from shoppers on Facebook as well as on other social media sites including Pinterest and Instagram.
After customers place orders through Facebook, they receive e-mailed invoices that they click to pay through PayPal or credit cards. Lolly Wolly Doodle posts about four products per day through Facebook newsfeeds, with each product available for about two hours, a spokeswoman says. Facebook fans can also buy additional products that are available for longer periods by logging on through Facebook to the retailer’s Wonder Wall site. Customers can also shop directly on LollyWollyDoodle.com where the retailer offers some products not available on Facebook, and through a mobile app launched last month.
Lolly Wolly Doodle, founded in 2008 by CEO Brandi Temple, handles about 30,000 transactions per month, the retailer says. Revolution Growth adds that it expects the retailer to take in more than $10 million this year in revenue. The retailer employs about 170 workers, including 160 in a manufacturing facility in its headquarters city of Lexington, NC, Revolution Growth says. With its $20 million in new capital, Lolly Wolly Doodle says it plans to hire 100 employees for its North Carolina operations as well as add to its technology and marketing teams in New York City.
Revolution Growth co-founder Donn Davis, who took a lead role in the investment, will join Lolly Wolly Doodle’s board. Other investors include FirstMark Capital, High Line Venture Partners and Novel TMT Ventures.
“Lolly Wolly Doodle is a perfect example of our core belief at Revolution that great entrepreneurs and innovative companies can be found all across the country, not just in Silicon Valley,” Case says. “Lolly Wolly Doodle proves affordable manufacturing can thrive in America.”