Daily Grommet, With New Financing (and Attention), Looks to “Pour Fuel on the Fire”

1/5/11Follow @gthuang

A quick update from one of the darlings of the Boston consumer tech scene. Lexington, MA-based Daily Grommet says it has raised just over $475,000 in financing as an extension to its $3.4 million Series A round last April. The new money came from the company’s existing angel investors, including John Landry, Nancy Peretsman, LaunchCapital, and Race Point Capital.

What’s more interesting is where Daily Grommet seems to be heading. Founder and CEO Jules Pieri says the company, which scouts out consumer products from relatively unknown manufacturers and promotes one such “grommet” each day through online videos, had a “pretty explosive” fourth quarter of 2010. The startup rolled out a revamped website with new social shopping features in October and increased its subscriber base to 130,000 in December—up from 3,000 at the end of 2009. Total revenue in 2010 was 10 times the previous year’s, Pieri says. “We worked hard at acquiring customers, and figured out our economics,” she says.

She adds that she’s looking to raise another financing round fairly soon as the company focuses on growth and acquiring more customers this year—partly by pursuing more partnerships with big media publishers. Daily Grommet’s role there, she says, is to “take inspiring stories and make them portable traveling assets across the Web.”

One point surprised me a little bit: The explosion of group-buying sites and the Google-Groupon near-acquisition directly affects Daily Grommet, Pieri says, because now “people are paying attention to our space”—broadly speaking, she means the intersection of online content, community, products, and marketing. Of course, Daily Grommet’s “deals” are national instead of local, as Groupon’s are, and evergreen instead of daily or weekly, but the basic idea of using Web marketing to help businesses get new customers is the same.

“We’ve proven the economics,” Pieri says. “It’s ‘pour fuel on the fire’ time now.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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