December 17, 2007, 12:00 AM

Online luxury shopping site obtains $3.8 million in financing

Early stage venture capital firm Kodiak Ventures is among the investors. has been live in a test phase since May., a luxury shopping site, has obtained $3.8 million in financing from early stage venture capital firm Kodiak Ventures and other investors. The site, which offers female shoppers discounts on such items as jewelry and handbags, has been in an invitation-only testing phase since May.

The site, founded in 2006 by entrepreneur Paul Hurley, aims to work with luxury goods manufacturers to drive demand for new products with editorial coverage, sales alerts, mobile messaging and community features. It also can serve as a way to discreetly sell off last season’s merchandise, according to the New York-based company.

"Ideeli`s multiplatform shopping experience provides more than just an opportunity to get luxury goods at great values -- it`s engaging and fun," Hurley says. "Our members tell us that they lunge for their mobile phones when they receive ideeli alerts to make sure they don`t miss a giveaway or the start of a sale. We`ve been able to translate member excitement into a deeper connection with established and up-and-coming brands."

"The demand for luxury products online is large and growing rapidly. The challenge for many brands is to find online partners who can protect and enhance their high-end reputation," says Chip Meakem of Kodiak Ventures. "Luxury brand gatekeepers have been looking for the right ways to leverage Web 2.0 tools to build their brands while continuing to increase revenue, and we think ideeli has come up with a winning solution."

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