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Gilt Groupe's CEO is becoming a venture capital investor

Michelle Peluso will focus on consumer companies at TCV.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Michelle Peluso, the Gilt Groupe CEO who led a failed turnaround of the discount shopping site, is joining Technology Crossover Ventures as a venture partner in New York City, the company announced this morning. Peluso left Gilt earlier this year after it sold to the parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue for $250 million, a fraction of its valuation during its heyday just a few years earlier.

Peluso has held various roles over her long internet career, from founder of travel site Site59 to head of consumer marketing for Citigroup to CEO of both Travelocity and Gilt. She was a board member at Gilt before replacing founder Kevin Ryan as its CEO in late 2012.

By late 2013, several people in and around the leadership team were eyeing a late 2014 IPO. In early 2014, Gilt hired bankers to advise it on an IPO. But the company struggled to keep its selection fresh and failed to lure valuable customers back as frequently as it once did. Instead of an IPO, Gilt was sold to Hudson’s Bay in early 2016.

Despite the outcome, Peluso was widely respected inside of Gilt, according to several former employees. At TCV, she will focus on investing in consumer companies. TCV is known as a late-stage investor, typically investing in companies that already have tens of millions of revenue dollars. The firm’s current portfolio of consumer internet companies includes Dollar Shave Club, JustFab, SeatGeek and Minted.

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