Darby Smart Raises $6.3 Million in Series A Financing Maveron, Forerunner Ventures, CAA Ventures, Invest in the DIY Marketplace

SAN FRANCISCO, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Darby Smart (www.darbysmart.com), the company that brings do-it-yourself (DIY) projects and supplies directly to the consumer's door and allows them to easily recreate the most popular DIY projects on the Internet, today announces a $6.3 million Series A funding round.  The funding is led by Maveron, with participation from Forerunner Ventures, CAA Ventures and other existing investors.   

"Darby Smart has successfully engaged one of the biggest untapped consumer categories by using technology to build a platform that bridges the gap between the craft store, online DIY influencer, and the customer," said David Wu, partner at Maveron.  "The crafting industry is a giant $29 billion market that has been relatively unchanged for decades, marked by wandering up and down aisles with tens of thousands of different SKUs, and half completed DIY projects at home.  As more and more crafting projects begin online, Darby Smart is creating a superior experience for customers from start to finish where they can discover, purchase, create and replenish – on demand." 

The new funding comes at a time of rapid growth for Darby Smart.  The company launched in June 2013, and has seen quarterly revenue increase at an average of 440 percent over the past three quarters.  Darby Smart launched with just 10 leading DIY designers and a strong commitment to offer them a place to launch and sell their DIY ideas.  The company turns designer's ideas into purchasable DIY projects and helps them create their own businesses.   To date, Darby Smart's designer community has skyrocketed from 10 to thousands of popular and up-and-coming designers in the online crafting community.

This recent funding enables Darby Smart to create additional tools for their community of DIY designers to grow their businesses. The funds will also allow Darby Smart to build upon their rapid pace of eCommerce innovation with more development around crowd-sourcing at every touch point in the process – from contributing design ideas, to consumers voting on the next DIY projects offered.  Hiring is also a significant focus, as the company plans to expand its team over the next six months.

"More than 50 million craft consumers have been searching for a way to transform the online DIY inspiration driven by Pinterest into an engaging offline experience," said Nicole Shariat Farb, Founder, Darby Smart.  "With this new capital, we are committed to providing consumers with the flawless experience they deserve."

"We are really excited to back Nicole because she has proven to be a standout brand builder who has the rare combination of left right brain needed to build a breakout data driven consumer company," added David Wu.

Maveron is one of the leading consumer tech investors with a history of backing successful consumer brands –  Zulily, Julep, eBay, and more.  Forerunner Ventures has expertise in all things digital commerce, as many of their portfolio companies have helped modernize today's retail industry – Fab, Warby Parker, Hotel Tonight, Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club and many more. 

About Darby Smart
Launched in June 2013, Darby Smart works with designers on Pinterest and across the Web to create and launch do-it-yourself projects delivering online DIY inspiration to the consumer's door. Based in San Francisco, Investment banker turned DIY start-‐up maven Nicole Shariat Farb left her role as Vice President and Head of Emerging Private Companies Group at Goldman Sachs and partnered with Karl Mendes, Senior Software Engineer from Eventbrite, to found Darby Smart.  The company creates an entirely new type of retail experience via a marketplace that gives craft enthusiasts the opportunity to create affordable and achievable craft projects, while simultaneously supporting up-and-coming designers.  Prior to this round, the company had raised $1 Million in seed funding, from strategic investors and advisors including Forerunner Ventures, Novel TMT, Dave Gilboa and Vivi Nevo, among others. To learn more, visit www.darbysmart.com.

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SOURCE Darby Smart



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