Every day, the website AHAlife delivers unique products from categories like fashion, food, beauty, accessories, home décor, tech and travel experiences right to your inbox. The site exudes “tastemaker status“, pairing a glossy editorial vibe with celebrity curators including Tim Gunn, DVF, Carmindy, Wendi Murdoch, Daniel Boulud, Bobbi Brown, Petra Nemcova, Cynthia Rowley, and Tina Brown in an attempt to cut through the noise in the online fashion world.
Today, the New York City based e-commerce company is announcing that it’s raised a $10.1m Series B Round led by Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce company and existing investors DCM and FirstMark Capital, bringing the company’s total funding to $19.1 million. Proceeds from the funding will be used to accelerate future growth.
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Today, the tastemaker destination features 575 brands from 50 different countries around the world and fulfills orders to 106 different countries in 42 different currencies. AHAlife’s founder and CEO Shauna Mei is anything but unimpressive. She was born in Inner Mongolia, raised in China and moved to the US shortly after the Tiananmen Square massacre. The 28-year-old entrepreneur (who was mentioned in our epic run down of NYC’s tech scene) studied computer science and electrical engineering at MIT and upon graduation, went to work at Goldman Sachs, where she worked on the sale of Neiman Marcus.
“As we looked toward international expansion, particularly in Asia, Rakuten emerged as the strongest partner with their operational excellence and dominant market share in Japan,” says Mei. “We believe that Asian consumers will identify with AHAlife.com’s mission to give them access to hand selected exceptional products, as they have a high level of appreciation for quality and innovation as well as the story behind what they are purchasing.”
AHAlife’s vibe is similar to other fashion sites we love like Of A Kind and Svvply with a mission to provide a curated experience of the best lifestyle products from all over the world where the consumer can come, discover, learn about and seamlessly purchase what AHAlife’s tastemakers love.
Unlike discount giant Gilt (where this starving writer admittedly does a lot of online shopping), AHAlife.com’s full price, full value business model has (unsurprisingly) received a fair amount of acclaim from industry insiders.