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CSN Stores Raises $165 Million "First Round" To Expedite Expansion & Bolster Branding

BOSTON, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- CSN Stores ( www.csnstores.com), one of the largest online retailers of housewares and home furnishings in the U.S., announced today that it has raised $165 million in funding from four investment firms to increase its ongoing expansion both internationally and in the U.S., target appropriate acquisitions, and drive extensive marketing around a new brand launching later this summer, Wayfair.com ( www.wayfair.com). This is the first time that CSN Stores has raised institutional funding in its nine-year history and this funding amount is one of the largest investment rounds reported for any online company so far in 2011.

CSN's new team of investors include Battery Ventures, Great Hill Partners, HarbourVest Partners, and Spark Capital, well-known venture capital and private equity firms that have supported Groupon, Twitter, Akamai, Angie's List, IGN Entertainment, Tumblr and BuscaPe among others.

"We've grown profitably every year since 2002 and have continued to aggressively reinvest in the business, but with our new group of advisors and this infusion of funding, we have plans to grow even more quickly," said Niraj Shah, CSN's CEO and co-founder. "Our emerging international businesses will see more resources, and we'll be investing in a major consumer brand launch. Looking ahead four or five years, we think with the help of our investors, we are on the path to becoming a much-larger, publicly-traded company."

CSN Stores, which jumped 50 percent in sales from 2009 to 2010, and which is growing again at over 50 percent in 2011, expects to well surpass the $500 million dollar mark this year.  Its sales were up by 56 percent in Q1, 2011, compared to Q1, 2010.

"Why is CSN Stores so successful, even in a challenging economy?" asked Alex Finkelstein, General Partner at Spark Capital. "CSN enables its customers to quickly find the exact item they are looking for at a competitive price and have it delivered to their doorstep within a few days. That's a simple but very valuable part of the CSN equation. In our view, CSN is unique in its ability to deliver this valuable customer experience across a wide selection of products."

Neeraj Agrawal, General Partner at Battery Ventures said that CSN's focus on customer experience was one of the aspects that attracted him to invest in the company. "I've had my eye on CSN Stores since the time Niraj and Steve started it. We think it's a well-run company that's poised to use this large investment to attract more customers, drive more growth and build a strong consumer brand."  

CSN attracts more than 100 million visits annually and offers more than 3 million items from 5,000 brands. Among its 200+ sites are Cookware.com, Luggage.com, and Strollers.com. In order to further its position as a leading online retailer for the home, CSN plans to consolidate these sites into one, all-encompassing brand that "has it all for the home" -- Wayfair.com.

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