Colin Barry

Gilt Groupe (EF, Thursday, Week 14)


"I believe that, like, Gilt has turned me into an even better multi-tasker than I was before!" -- thrilled Gilt customer
Gilt has 4M members. Holy moly.

"Michael Bryzek, our CTO and co-founder, was in the warehouse packing boxes for the first few months." -- Alexis Maybank

This is a really complex business model.
"72% of our revenues are earned in 90 minutes every day ... All of our customer support calls happen in 90 minutes every day."

Lots of time pressure, fast throughput, business model could not really exist offline.
Need a ton of Kiva robots, tons of data to create "curated" collection specific to the customer, and high enough volume to get decent pricing.
"You can't really serve 4M people with leftovers."

How did Gilt take off?
Buy from your suppliers 30 days net; collect from your customers in a little over two weeks. Negative NWC from very early on...
Early conversations about Rich vs. King; not framed in exactly that way. But founders quickly hired a CEO and COO to run Gilt when it started blowing up.