Feb 11, 2020 - Economy

Online dollar store Hollar to wind down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Hollar, an e-commerce company that raised more than $75 million in VC funding, is expected to wind down soon, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Between the lines: It's been a very tough month for direct-to-consumer startups, beginning with Casper Sleep's uninspired IPO and Monday's shutdown of SoftBank-backed Brandless.

  • Los Angeles-based Hollar launched in 2015 to help users find dollar store-like bargains on branded consumables, ranging from kitchen goods to toys to beauty products.
  • The company's co-founders were Brian Lee, who previously led ShoeDazzle and The Honest Company, and former Honest Co. executive David Yeom.
  • Hollar investors included Kleiner Perkins, Index Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, B Capital Group, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Greycroft, Comcast Ventures, Forerunner Ventures and Troy Capital Partners.

The big picture: Hollar's thesis was that dollar store denizens would buy multiple products at a time, thus alleviating pressure on shipping costs. But a source close to the situation says the unit economics never panned out.

The company is said to have started looking for a buyer late last year, and is in final negotiations with retailer Five Below, which would bring on more employees and at least some of the other assets.

Hollar's site and app are not expected to survive.

Axios has emailed Hollar and CEO Steve Oliver for comment, but has not yet heard back.

Go deeper:

Go deeper