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Specialty E-Commerce Soars, But for How Long?

Big funding rounds in e-commerce have once again raised the profile of tech’s most finicky sector, one that has recently seen major stumbles (Fab, ShoeDazzle) and an apparent turnaround (Gilt Groupe).

But with companies like Blue Apron and Birchbox now creeping into half-billion dollar valuations, there are still questions about how these businesses can meet their newly raised expectations, while keeping marketing and customer acquisition costs down.

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“There was a real perception that e-commerce had failed to produce success stories and exits,” he wrote in an email to The Information. “And it has—if you look only at companies in Silicon Valley.”

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While the spotlight has been focused on the successes and foibles of e-commerce companies based in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, there are lesser-known sites that may actually dominate the next crop of IPOs.