I was very interested to read that StyleTread has raised $12m in funding. Having just finished Tony Hsieh’s book “Delivering Happiness”, which essentially covers his early entrepreneurial career, his leadership of Zappos and his managerial philosophies, it’s hard not to look at this large funding number and Australia’s limited market and think that the investment overwhelms the opportunity. As Power Retail notes, overseas expansion could be on the cards, because when you consider that Australia is still coming to grips with a mail order culture, the opportunity locally just doesn’t seem that compelling. Noting that it took Zappos 10 years to reach $1 billion in revenue, and Australia has 1/15th the population, it would seem to be an ambitious investment.
As a sidenote, I’m also curious about Mark Rowland calling himself “Chief Happiness Officer”. Even for a company that is clearly just a local adaptation of an American success story, that seems a little too derivative. Surely we can do better than just mimicking?