Partners made an additional investment of $80 million in the independent
e-tailing start-up BlueLight.com, founded last December and
now in beta.
Kmart will invest $55 million and Softbank an additional $25 million to
continue the development of BlueLight.com, which recently announced it has
reached the three million-subscriber mark for its free Internet service after
just seven months.
BlueLight.com recently launched as a “preview” shopping site, featuring
thousands of items such as apparel, home electronics, housewares, toys,
sporting goods and Kmart’s
Martha Stewart Everyday line of home and garden products. When the site
formally launches this fall, it will feature hundreds of thousands of
products, Kmart said.
“We are very pleased with the performance of BlueLight.com as it continues to
set a new standard for online, mass merchandise shopping, supported by the
subscription records it has seen on its free Internet service,” said Chuck
Conaway, chairman and chief executive officer of Kmart. ” we continue to see tremendous
potential. Our additional investment reinforces our desire to maintain
Kmart’s majority interest in BlueLight.com.”
“Kmart’s continued support, along with that of Softbank, will ensure that
BlueLight.com will be one of the long-term winners in e-tailing, highlighting
the true power of Kmart/BlueLight.com’s unique clicks-and-mortar model,” said Rex Golding, principal
director of Softbank Venture Capital.
Also announced today was a new appointment to the BlueLight.com board of
directors, Gilbert W. Harrison, current chairman of Financo Inc., a mergers and acquisitions
firm specializing in providing financial services to retailing and other
BlueLight was initially capitalized at $62.5 million last fall — Softbank
put up $50 million and Martha Stewart Inc. put up $12.5 million.
BlueLight.com Scores $80 Million Investment