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Gilt Groupe Said to Raise at Least $15 Million From TriplePoint

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Gilt Groupe Inc., a members-only online retailer focused on luxury brands, raised at least $15 million in debt financing from TriplePoint Capital, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The deal closed about two months ago and will help the three-year-old company cope with rising demand, said the people, who declined to be identified because the financing hasn’t been made public.

Gilt, which has a deal site called Gilt City, is taking advantage of low borrowing costs and growing interest in coupon sites to raise funding. Competitor Groupon Inc. spurned a $6 billion takeover offer from Google Inc. earlier this month, while LivingSocial attracted $175 million from Amazon.com Inc. Gilt City is offered in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco.

Gilt Chairman Susan Lyne didn’t respond to an e-mail request for comment. Theresa Maloney, a representative for TriplePoint, said executives at the Menlo Park, California-based firm weren’t available for comment.

Unlike equity financing, which requires startups to give up a stake in their business, debt lets new companies raise funds without having to cede ownership. Gilt, based in New York, previously raised at least $83 million in venture funding from General Atlantic LLC and Matrix Partners.

Gilt’s main business offers deals for as much as 70 percent off and gives members three days to decide whether to make a purchase. It specializes in apparel, home entertainment and luxury travel, offering brands such as Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani. The company said Dec. 13 that it will sell three new Volkswagen AG Jettas for $6,000 apiece, beginning today. That’s almost two-thirds off the normal price.

TriplePoint, which started in 2006, has provided more than $1 billion in lease and loan financings to hundreds of venture-backed companies, according to its site. The firm has previously provided financing to Facebook Inc., Etsy Inc. and Chegg Inc.

Gilt is also listed as a client on TriplePoint’s site.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Levy in San Francisco at alevy5@bloomberg.net; Douglas MacMillan in San Francisco at dmacmillan3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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