Turkish Flash Sale Site Trendyol Raises $26 Million

Though it may not be a new concept in much of the world, the flash sale e-commerce model still has legs. Pioneered by Vente-Privee in France, popularized in the US by companies like Gilt Groupe and Hautelook, there are sites you’ve probably never heard of making serious headway (and money) in emerging markets you’ve probably never considered as hotbeds of e-commerce or designer fashion sales.

Trendyol, a Turkish flash sale site, just raised $26 million from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), whose related investments include fashion rental service Rent the Runway and home design flash sale site One Kings Lane. It brings the company’s total funding to $50 million.

According to a June 2010 tally, Turkey is a country of 35 million internet users – roughly 45% of the population – and 46 million credit cards. Of those internet users, 1 out of 9 have signed up on Trendyol. {Financial Times}

If that’s not enough of an indication of the significance of Trendyol’s success, they have roughly 478,000 Facebook fans, compared to Gilt’s 321,000. Numbers aren’t everything, but for a site in a country much smaller than the US (Gilt’s primary market), 150,000 more fans is not a number to be ignored.

This marks the first Turkish company that KPCB has invested in, but also serves as a reminder that the e-tail world is bigger than the established markets of the US and western Europe, and the much higher profile emerging BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries, of which China gets the lion’s share of attention.

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