November 6, 2013, 10:40 AM

‘Green’ furniture e-retailer raises $4.5 million to design its own products

The web-only merchant expects to double its online sales this year.

Lead Photo

Bambeco CEO and co-founder Susan Aplin

Eco-friendly furniture and home décor retailer raised $4.5 million in its first round of institutional funding this week, and it plans to use the money to expand online marketing efforts, hire more employees and introduce private-label products.

Bambeco, No. 769 in the Internet Retailer Second 500 Guide, brought in an estimated $6.9 million in online sales in 2012. The merchant is on track to nearly double that this year, says CEO and co-founder Susan Aplin.

With the new funding, Bambeco is planning to invest more in online marketing tactics including retargeting, paid search and search engine optimization, she says. It will also roll out a redesigned site early next year, in addition to new mobile shopping capabilities.

Bambeco also aims to work with manufacturers to sell its own branded products on and also to physical stores, she adds. “We want to move from a curated business model where we seek out products to sell on our site, to one where around 90% of our products come under the Bambeco brand name.”

As part of that effort, Bambeco hired Deborah Baldini as chief creative officer. She will oversee merchandising and marketing for the company, Aplin says. Baldini is a managing partner in a Napa Valley winery and strategic advisor for StylSavvy, a patent-pending iPad platform for fashion retailers.

Previously, she served as president of Cambria Cove, an online retailer of specialty gifts that Hallmark Cards acquired in 2011. From 1999 to 2007, she was managing director of Freeborders, a supply chain software company. From 1992 to 1999, she held served a variety of roles, including brand manager, at Levi Strauss & Co.

New Atlantic Ventures led the funding round. 

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