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Multi-million investment for Turkish flash sale site

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Last week we wrote about venture capital investment in Achica, the private sale company specialising in homewares. This week there’s news of a $26m (£16m) investment for a Turkish flash sale fashion site.

The money, for 2010 start-up Trendyol.com, comes from US-based Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, whose track record of investment includes Google, Amazon, Twitter and AOL, as well as from existing investor Tiger Global. It brings to $50m the total invested in the site in the 17 months since it launched.

Just as with European sites such as Achica, Secret Sales, Brand Alley, and Vente Privée, Trendyol has time-limited members-only sales at knockdown prices. It also has 4m members, its own fashion line, Milla, created through crowdsourcing, and more than 350 staff working from a 150,000 sq ft warehouse in Istanbul. The investment is seen as a way to tap into the potential of an emerging and potentially very large ecommerce market, one with high credit card use and high online engagement. Its 35m internet users, according to IWS, are said to form the fifth largest internet population in Europe.

Aileen Lee, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, explained the investment thus: “KPCB is very excited about Trendyol.com’s growth, quality of user experience, innovation in the fashion industry and its first-class team of entrepreneurs."

Her colleague Mary Meeker added: “Trendyol.com represents the new era of Internet innovators delivering on the promise of the social Web.”

Lee Fixel, managing director of Tiger Global Management, said: “What attracted us to Trendyol.com was its grasp of how to leverage economic trends in Turkey such as high credit card penetration rates and localized marketing.

“Trendyol.com is also smartly applying crowdsourcing to its business model and state-of-the art logistics to deliver on product delivery cycles which engender a loyal customer base.”

Trendyol’s founder and chief executive Demet Mutlu said: “We’re particularly thrilled that Kleiner Perkins could see the market opportunity for e-commerce in Turkey and Trendyol.com as leading the way.”

“Trendyol.com’s mission has been to revolutionize fashion in Turkey and make it accessible to all: for those who don’t have the the time to shop; the brands or stores in their cities; and/or for those who cannot afford high retail prices.

“The new financing will be used for key growth initiatives including enhancing our customer service, investment in operations, increasing member acquisition and further accelerating our growth within Turkey as well as other markets – all to deliver the best customer experience.”

More information on the trends in Turkish ecommerce is available here, an infographic on Trendyol.com's website.

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