The largest web retailer in North America moves to interest “artisan” sellers in the Handmade online marketplace.
BlueLight.com scooped up $80 million in second round financing from Kmart Corporation and Softbank Venture Capital today in one of the largest investments so far this year in a b-to-c Internet company. Of that total, Kmart is investing $55 million, its first monetary investment in the company it helped launch in December with a substantial contribution of non-cash resources. Softbank is putting up another $25 million in the second round, following its initial investment of $50 million. Neither Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which had put up an initial $12.5 million; nor Yahoo, which made an undisclosed cash investment at launch, participated in the second round of financing. Kmart remains the majority shareholder with a 60% stake in BlueLight The company also announced that its free Internet service has topped 3 million subscribers since launch, making it one of the fastest-growing services in the industry.
BlueLight also said it has added a new board member, Gilbert Harrison of Financo, Inc., a New York-based merger and acquisition firm.