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CSN Raises $165 Million in Capital

BOSTON - Online retailer CSN Stores has raised $165 million from four venture capital and private equity firms that will help the fast-growing company consolidate its catalog under the Wayfair.com brand name.
     It marked the first time in the retailer's nine-year history that it raised outside capital. The company said the move is the first step toward an initial public stock offering, which could take place in four or five years.
CSN, which sells furniture and home goods through more than 200 websites, had sales of $380 million last year - an increase of more than 50% from 2009. It is on track to rack up sales of more than $500 million this year.
     The company said it will begin its re-branding later this summer when it begins consolidating websites such as Luggage.com, Strollers.com and many others into a single mega-site called Wayfair.com. The consolidation is expected to take about a year.
     The four investment firms - Battery Ventures, Spark Capital, HarbourVest Partners and Great Hill Partners - will each have a representative on CSN's board of directors and will be active advisers in the company's future growth.
     The company said the new investors were hand-picked by CSN's founders, CEO Niraj Shah and Chairman Steven Conine.

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