• Clint Engel

OpenSky parent buys, relaunches Dot & Bo

Will run the home furnishings e-commerce site as a small, midsize business marketplace

NEW YORK — Technology company OSP Holdings, best known for the launch of online marketplace OpenSky, acquired and relaunched home furnishings e-commerce company Dot & Bo.

The purchase price for the San Francisco-based e-tailer, which shut down abruptly in September, was not disclosed.

“Reviving a brand like Dot & Bo, along with its passionate shopper community, on our marketplace platform, with our team and connecting it with (small and medium) brands in the upscale décor space is exciting for us,” OSP Founder and CEO John Caplan said in a release. “Bringing Dot & Bo into the OSP family is a strategic step in our goal of modernizing global trade for (small and medium size enterprises).”

According to a release OSP takes a commission on sales while sellers “bid up take rates to increase the velocity of sales of their goods” similar to an AdWords e-commerce campaign.

Dot & Bo offers upscale assortment of home furnishings and other home products from small and mid-size enterprises. In purchasing Dot & Bo, OSP said it “resurrected its distinct branding and vast and varied product selection and, perhaps most importantly, built a distribution channel to help … merchants specializing in furniture and décor grow their businesses.”

dotandboOSP’s is backed by Alibaba, which became a major stakeholder, when Alibaba sold its own U.S. online marketplace to the company in 2015, according to a Recode report on the Dot & Bo deal OSP General Manager of Marketplace Andrew Pavoni confirmed that Alibaba is an investor.

The Recode report said OpenSky purchased the Dot & Bo brand, customer and vendor lists, and other assets.

Pavoni told Furniture Today Dot & Bo will work with any size business, although the focus is brands "that have extraordinary goods and are selling less than $50 million annually."

When the e-commerce retailer called it quits last year, it told Recode that its business model didn’t work, as it struggled with large item shipping costs and inconsistent website traffic.

Its website is now promoting a “Grand Re-Opening,” with “up to 80% off.”

OSP notes that it has acquired other smaller platforms before this and then leveraged its “technology and strategic support to begin operating them profitably. Last year, for instance, in acquired online store builder and marketplace Storenvy.com, tripling its revenue in nine months, according to the company.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

Please feel free to email or call me with all of your retail news and tips, including expansion news, successful merchandising and marketing strategies and anything else you would like to see covered by Furniture/Today.  Contact me directly at cengel@furnituretoday.com or 336-605-1129.

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