Daily Consumer #26 - Studying SheIn
Plus brands are becoming louder about their values.
SheIn is a monster business. Rumors are that the business generated ~$20B in revenue in 2021 growing >100% YoY without needing any external funding to finance the growth… You don’t hear about a business like that every day. No surprise the company is rumored to be raising at a $100B valuation.
I’ll try to summarize why this business is special as briefly as possible.
Fast fashion is a very large market that is growing as a result of social media. Consumers, especially Gen Zs who may not have a lot of discretionary money, want their posts to be unique, which buying fast fashion facilitates. And SheIn is able to market on these social media platforms to get in front of billions of potential buyers.
SheIn’s core advantages are 1) speed and 2) ability to leverage data. They add 2-10K SKUs to their store per day (!) usually starting with small quantities and scaling up inventory as a product sells successfully. They use the same data-driven approach to scale up and down their ad campaigns. The business only offers its products online which allows for much faster feedback loops.
SheIn has a scalable business model by pushing all of the production and costs associated with inventory to a network of 6K clothing factories in China. It resembles a marketplace business model moreso than that of a traditional brand.
What are the risks?
Competition increases amongst fashion manufacturers which makes it harder to acquire customers economically. Some leading indictors: 1) Alibaba and Amazon are both experimenting in this space; 2) SheIn doesn’t sell its products in China due to overly fierce competition there.
Regulators clamp down on fast fashion due to the environmental impact.
Logistics networks struggle to move products from China to consumers globally due to supply chain issues or geopolitical issues.
SheIn can’t retain its network of factories due to a backlash for some reason or competitors finding a way to take over that supply.
This is a unique business case study in the making that touches fashion, social media, big data, geopolitics, sustainability, and more. I’m sure we’ll hear more about it.
Index Ventures portfolio companies Linktree and Sourceful were mentioned in this edition.
Nice seeing some of you at Shoptalk in Vegas two weeks ago!
Sweetwater, a leading ecommerce retailer of musical instruments, is seeing tremendous success with affiliate marketing. “Created a bonus and commissions-based links program that tracks both customer acquisition and sales conversions for its 500 affiliate partners. The program’s members receive a 7% commission of sales, as well as the chance to earn a cash bonus if they bring in a new customer without an ad-supported campaign.”
Faire shares how it uses data science to figure out which brands to onboard onto its marketplace. Also shares that it has 350K retailers and 50K brands on the platform now.
30% of respondents to a BNPL survey say they are struggling to make their BNPL payments.
Dollar General is piloting BNPL with Sezzle at more than 1.7K stores in Texas.
Klarna shared a 2021 update. Now has 147M active users, 400K merchants onboard, and drove $80B GMV in 2021. Also claims that 99% of loans are repaid worldwide.
Beauty is thriving on Alibaba and is now the marketplace’s 3rd largest category. “The top five beauty subcategories for items ordered through the platform are hair extensions, men’s grooming, false eyelashes and tools, skin-care and tools, and beauty equipment for spas or hair salons.”
Ulta is looking to showcase inclusive and sustainable beauty brands with its Sparked program which spotlights 4 emerging brands per quarter in stores nationwide.
Glamour Dolls, an indie beauty brand, now has a collab with Bored Ape Yacht Club, the popular NFT brand. “Each product will have a 10K-piece run that will be dropped in batches over the next 4 months.”
Skims enters the swimwear space.
Banana Republic launches BR Baby and BR Athletics.
Abercrombie & Fitch launches YPB, an activewear sub-brand. “We’ve been dedicated to outfitting our millennial consumers for every part of their lives. Being active is another key part.”
Adidas and Gymshark are investing heavily to develop the best sports bra and win over female customers. The sports bra market grew 54% in 2021 to $3B.
Content + Commerce.
PSG, the French soccer team, is trying to become a lifestyle fashion brand and has done collabs with Dior and Jordan. Does $40M in ecommerce revenue annually currently and is looking to grow this significantly.
Levi’s saw Q1 2022 revenue grow 22% YoY to $1.6B. Digital revenues accounted for ~25% of total sales.
Li Ning, the Chinese sports brand, saw 2021 revenue grow 56% to $3.55B. As brands are being increasingly politicized, some Chinese consumers are favoring domestic brands.
ThredUp saw 2021 revenue grow 35% YoY to $252M. Is resale demand slowing?
Zara expects 30% of its revenue to come via ecommerce by 2024.
Nike now generates 26% of its total revenue via D2C ecommerce.
As mentioned in previous newsletters, I think Shopify should build an ad network. Ben Thompson also thinks so.
Shopify launches Linkpop, a link-in-bio tool that is aimed at creators and allows them to sell products directly from their Linkpop page. The tool can be used by anyone whether or not they are a Shopify merchant. But, the shoppable links are only available to Shopify merchants.
Shopify partners with Shippo which allows platforms to build out a native post-purchase experience using Shippo’s fully customizable API and purpose-built UI components.
A profile of Richard Saghian, the founder of Fashion Nova. “He wanted to take fast fashion and make it even faster, so he tasked manufacturers in his backyard of Los Angeles with quickly stitching together clothing.”
Walmart launches Zeekit technology on its online store to help customers better visualize fashion by rendering a virtual model who resembles them.
A profile of On Running, a $7.2B market cap footwear brand, and how the brand won over both high fashion and casual sneaker wearers. “Building relationships with boutiques known more for selling tricksy pleated pants than fleet running shoes is a key growth strategy for On.”
A profile of Birkenstock, the 250 year old cork-based sandal brand that was valued at $4.9B in 2021.
Instacart launches Instacart Platform, a software and services platform that encompasses digital storefronts, ads, and Instacart-owned fulfillment services to enable retailers to offer more tailored delivery services. “By deepening its service offerings, Instacart is bowing to retailers' desire to establish new e-commerce properties and not just rely on the company's marketplace for sales.”
Instacart is launching Shoppable Recipes, a suite of new product integrations that will allow food creators to make their recipes shoppable on TikTok and other media sites.
Kroger is opening 3 new autonomous fulfillment centers to expand its grocery delivery service into Texas.
Despite the controversy around Kanye West, Gap is not planning on ending their clothing partnership with him. “An estimated $1B annual revenue from the partnership is not something that Gap will likely throw away easily, since that number represents nearly a quarter of the revenue that the Gap brand made in the year before signing the deal.”
Lizzo is launching a shapewear brand called Yitty in partnership with Fabletics.
Harry Styles opened 3 crowded popup locations to drop products from his nail polish brand, Pleasing. “We all have been so emotionally attached to Harry, and now he’s doing this gender-neutral lifestyle brand. We are so proud of him, and we just want to support him.”
Scarlett Johansson is launching a skincare line. “I created this brand to elevate clean, essential skin care.”
Gwen Stefani launches a makeup brand called GXVE Beauty which will launch at Sephora and on its own site. Features eye, eyebrow, and lipstick products.
Maluma launches a fragrance line called Royalty by Maluma.
Adidas is launching a paid ambassador program that will be available to all 50K student-athletes at Division 1 Adidas-sponsored schools. “Student athletes will initially be paid a percentage of the sales they drive at adidas.com or the adidas app, as well as the ability to be paid per social media post.”
Some great stats on how much influencers make for sponsored posts. “Nano influencers — those with a following between 1K and 1K — have seen the biggest growth in payouts from brands. In 2015, they got paid an average of $25 dollars for a sponsored post. In 2021, the average price per post was $901.”
Walmart saw 500% YoY GMV growth for its fulfillment services business called WFS, which allows sellers to sell on its marketplace more successfully.
Remote-operating a delivery robot may become a popular type of job in the near future if companies like Coco Robotics continue to scale.
Maersk, the global ocean shipping company, is pushing into ecommerce and will launch 9 e-fulfillment centers that will deliver to 75% of the U.S. population within 24 hours, and 95% within 48 hours.
Google is launching Last Mile Fleet Solution, which is comprehensive software to help fleet operators enable exceptional delivery experiences. Aiming to equip Amazon’s rivals with better technology?
Rite Aid is launching a new rewards program which enables members to earn points through everyday purchases and convert points into BonusCash. Every $1 spent equates to $0.02 of rewards.
The Container Store is launching a new loyalty program called Organized Insider. Has 3 tiers based on a customer’s spend.
Inflation is a concern for 90% of Americans per a survey conducted by The NY Times. About 75% of respondents rated the economy as fair or poor, and only 28% said they expected their own finances to be better off a year from now, the lowest share in the five years.
Adobe expects ecommerce spending to cross $1T for the first time this calendar year with the largest categories being electronics, fashion, and grocery.
Braze, a leading email marketing platform, expands on its commerce capabilities with product catalogs, surveys, SMS click tracking, and the launch of its Shopify integration.
H&M is opening up its ecommerce store to third party clothing brands for a trial period. Non-owned brands and products appear in the “H&M with Friends” section.
Kroger is scaling up its marketplace effort through a partnership with Bed Bath & Beyond. “Has added several thousand items from Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy BABY to Kroger’s Ship marketplace.” Retailers are continuing to follow Amazon and expanding from a solely 1P business model to also including a 3P marketplace.
Target is not too interested to expand its exclusive marketplace that features just 450 sellers who provide 250K products. “Over the past two years, Target has seen exceptional ecommerce growth. It increased digital sales from $6.8B in 2019 to nearly $20B in 2021. Most of that growth came from store-powered fulfillment though, not marketplace.”
Walmart is partnering with Spotify. Walmart+ subscribers will get access to Spotify Premium for 6 months for free. Copying Prime in their own way.
A profile on how Zegna has shifted its menswear strategy away from suits and formal attire. Luxury brands continue to shift into streetwear and leisurewear.
Nike has seen 6.7M users from 224 countries visit its Nikeland experience in Roblox since it launched 5 months ago.
American Eagle is launching AE Members Always Club on Roblox, which is an adaptation of Livetopia, a top role-playing game on Roblox.
Chipotle is launching a game called Chipotle Burrito Builder on Roblox. “We've tapped into play-to-earn, an emerging engagement model in the metaverse, to launch our newest experience on Roblox that celebrates the iconic Chipotle burrito.”
Pacsun is launching Pacworld, a fantasy interactive mall experience, on Roblox.
Wendy’s launches Wendyverse, a branded VR experience in Meta’s Horizon Worlds platform.
LEGO partners with Epic Games to build an immersive, creatively inspiring and engaging digital experience for kids of all ages to enjoy together. Unclear what this will specifically look like for now.
Some views from Metaverse Fashion Week which saw Forever 21, DKNY and Estée Lauder participate.
Mark Zuckerberg confirms NFTs are coming to Instagram although plans are vague.
WWE partners with Fanatics to develop WWE NFTs as well as physical trading cards.
Whatnot, a live shopping marketplace, is enabling resale of NFTs with a focus on the WAX blockchain.
Rebecca Minkoff is launching its 2nd NFT drop. “Rebecca Minkoff will also be launching in Roblox later this month. Purchasing one of the NFTs will also give buyers access to a private eSports event hosted by Rebecca Minkoff in Roblox on March 25.”
PayPal and Synchrony launch a cash-back credit card that rewards customers 3% cash back when they pay with PayPal at checkout and unlimited 2% cash back on all other purchases anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
Dollar General launches Spendwell, its own bank account, Visa debit card and mobile banking app in partnership with InComm Payments. Customers get a complimentary $10 deposit.
Harry’s is now the #3 top selling body wash brand at Target, driven by sampling (80% of customers who tried the body wash are likely to purchase) and endcaps in stores.
Nike will launch a Jordan-only store in 2023.
A profile of Magazine Luiza, a Brazilian retail giant with 1.3K physical stores that has made a tremendous shift to ecommerce. Did $7.7B in revenue in 2020 of which 66% was digital.
Stripe shares a 2021 year in review. Processed $640B in payment volume, up 60% YoY.
JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and other large banks are debating turning Zelle, their co-owned P2P payments product, into a closed-loop payments network. Shots fired at Visa and Mastercard? Zelle recorded 1.8B transactions and $490B in volume in 2021.
Meanwhile, Visa and Mastercard plan to hike their network fees next month.
Shopify partners with Strike to let merchants accept Bitcoin over Lightning Network.
Olo launches a restaurant payments product called Olo Pay.
Meta is planning to build its own virtual currency to be used across Meta apps. “Meta will instead roll out in-app tokens which would be controlled centrally by the company, like those used in gaming apps like the Robux currency in the children’s game Roblox.”
Walmart is co-creating a scalp care brand with Unilever called BHS (Beautiful Hair and Scalp) which is focused on millennials and Gen Z.
Pacsun launches a resale program in partnership with ThredUp called “Pre-Loved Pac”. “Allows Pacsun customers to exchanged used clothing for Pacsun credit, as well as and shop pre-owned directly through the Pacsun website.”
Yoox Net-A-Porter partners with Reflaunt to sell previously owned designer clothing. Reflaunt’s technology offers free home pickup or dropoff of unwanted clothing, digital product authentication, pricing recommendations, and professional photography.
Ikea is scaling up its buy back program for used furniture. Offers consumers the chance to sell their “gently used” Ikea furniture back to the retailer in exchange for store credit.
Wix, a website creation platform, partners with DoorDash Drive to allow any restaurant customer of Wix’s to set up direct delivery via Doordash.
DoorDash launches DashPass for Students, which gives customers free delivery on meals for $4.99 per month.
Burger King is expanding its online ordering efforts to include delivery. Is enabling a new feature in its mobile app that enables customers to directly place orders for delivery with a delivery service from their region bringing it to their doorstep.
McDonald’s signs a long-term partnership with Just Eat Takeaway.
Nordstrom launched its media network, mainly sponsored product ads, in Q4 2021 and generate $40M with participating brands including Vince, Ted Baker, Free People, and others. “Retailers with first-party data … are the future of targeting because those audiences become viable in a world where third-party cookies go away.”
Walmart continues to push its ad ambitions forward. Now has a dedicated business unit called Walmart Connect and has its own demand-side platform that leverages all of Walmart’s transaction data coupled with The Trade Desk’s inventory to allow advertisers to purchase effective campaigns off of Walmart properties.
Narvar launches Home Pickup, a “carrier agnostic” return service that lets shoppers schedule a courier to pickup return packages from their homes. Has 70 retailers piloting the service including DSW and Ann Taylor.
PayPal is making Happy Returns free when merchants adopt PayPal Checkout and has expanded Happy Returns to 5K+ locations. Recently partnered with Ulta Beauty to roll out Return Bars to more than 1.3K Ulta locations across the US.
DoorDash is testing a new feature called “Return a Package” that allows customers to use the service to return packages to the nearest post office, UPS or FedEx location.
Brands like Skims, Untuckit, and Abercrombie & Fitch Blanchet are launching same-day delivery. “5K orders a month are needed for same-day to become viable. Brands should have at least 1K pieces of inventory for each micro-fulfillment center wherever they’re offering same-day.”
iFood facilitated 553M restaurant orders via its delivery marketplace in 2021 and pushed Uber out of the business in Brazil.
Uber Eats partners with BP to deliver food, groceries and everyday essentials for 3K+ BP convenience stores globally.
Shipt partners with Sephora to enable same-day delivery of beauty and wellness products from 500 stores.
GoPuff partners with Morrisons, a large UK grocer, on instant delivery.
Search Engine Marketing.
Google launches a conversion measurement tool and price insights tool for its Google Shopping merchants. Is making a big push into ecommerce. “We’re trying to build out… this open ecosystem where when users come to Google, we’re the most helpful place in all phases of the shopping journey. What we want to do is connect merchants directly with our users.”
Ecommerce search is very outdated a study finds. “75% of ecommerce sites in North America are unable to convert shoppers due to an inability to understand natural language and shopper's intent.”
Google is offering its search engine tech to retailers who use Google Cloud services. Lowe’s is a customer.
Instagram rolls out product tagging to all US users. Users can tag products available on Instagram Shopping. “1.6M people tag at least one brand on average each week on the app.”
TikTok is rolling out Snapchat-style Stories. Everyone copies everyone.
Mac has seen a lot of success promoting its new mascara, called MACStack Mascara, on TikTok. Has generated >73M views in about a month which led to the producing selling out at Ulta. “We know that product reviews on TikTok showing people’s first reactions tend to break through on the platform, so that is what we zeroed in on by seeding product.”
Twitter is offering select businesses a digital product catalog of up to 50 items that can be attached to their profile.
Pinterest is beta testing native checkout and launches an API to access first-party Pinterest data as well as Idea Ads.
On Running is piloting a shoe subscription and already has 5K subscribers within a week of the announcement. Subscribers will be able to trade their pair of shoes in for a replacement every six months.
A profile of Chargebee, a leading software enabler of subscription commerce last valued at $3.5B.
Mollie, a payments company, partners with Recharge, a Chargebee competitor, to offer an API-first, end-to-end subscription solution for recurring payments and subscription management. Will target merchants that use Magneto, WooCommerce, or have their own homegrown ecommerce stores.
The EU shared plans to crack down on fashion brands for their environmental impact. “Fast fashion is poison for our planet.”
Reformation partners with SuperCircle, a fiber-to-fiber recycling program. Customers can drop off items at any US Reformation retail location or request a shipping label. Donators receive Reformation credit for future purchases: $25 for shoes, $15 for jeans, and $10 for sweaters and activewear.
Target launches Target Zero, an effort to highlight products that are sustainable. “Customers will now see a Target Zero icon in stores and online that identifies products and packaging designed to be refillable, reusable, or compostable, made from recycled content, or made from materials that reduce the use of plastic.”
McKinsey shares some thoughts on closed-loop recycling and how it will play a bigger role in consumption going forward. “Among surveyed consumers, 54% anticipate buying more clothes made with recycled materials. Of surveyed consumers, 92% would participate in a brand-sponsored apparel-recycling program if offered the opportunity.”
Piper Sandler shares its “Taking Stock With Teens” survey which cites Nike, American Eagle, Lululemon as top clothing brands, Nike and Converse as top footwear brands, Amazon, Shein, and Nike as top websites to shop on, Ulta as the #1 beauty destination, and TikTok as the most favored social platform followed by Snapchat and Instagram.
Modern Retail profiles the growing number of brands that are closing shop in Russia including Nike, Adidas, Ikea, Apple, H&M, Canada Goose, and others.
Amazon launches “Amazon Aware”, a private label brand which makes sustainable, everyday essentials like home goods, beauty and apparel.
Google is now offering businesses the option to identify as Black-owned, Latino-owned, Woman-owned and Veteran-owned on Google Shopping and consumers can filter their searches accordingly.
More brands are becoming B-Corps. “Gives customers a third-party verified standard to hold to the brands they shop from. As more customers seek out brands that align with their values and brands aim to avoid greenwashing, B Corp certification is becoming a valuable tool for brands.”
GoPuff partners with the American Red Cross, will donate $450K, and will launch a first-of-its-kind rapid disaster recovery program in Philadelphia powered by GoPuff’s delivery network.
American Eagle launches “Future Together”, an initiative under which they will award $200K in total grants to 20 recipients working for positive change in their local communities.
DoorDash is launching a CPG brand accelerator to support small CPG businesses owned by people from marginalized groups.
H&M renews its partnership with Buy From a Black Woman, a non-profit that supports over 600 black woman-owned businesses in the US. H&M will provide a donation and organize in-person events with the org.
Williams-Sonoma is pledging to plant 6M trees by 2023 in partnership with Arbor Day Foundation.
Funding and Exits
Once Upon a Farm raises $52M from CAVU Venture Partners for its range of organic food for babies and children, including fruit and vegetable blends, dairy-free smoothies and overnight oats.
Bobbie raises $50M from Park West for its subscription-based infant formula. Now serves >50K parents in each US state.
A-Frame raises $11M from Forerunner Ventures and Initialized Capital for its brand development company supporting Naomi Osaka, Dwayne Wade, John Legend, and others to launch their own brands.
Society Brands raises $205M in debt and equity from i80 Group to acquire ecommerce brands.
Moonshot Brands raises $180M in debt and equity from Anthemis and others to acquire Amazon and D2C brands globally initially in the mobility and action sports sectors. Has 9 brands today.
YABA raises $85M in debt and equity from Crossbeam Venture Partners and Tikehau Capital to acquire ecommerce brands selling on Amazon. “Has acquired 12 companies in its first year and is generating an aggregate turnover of >$20M.”
Wholesum raises $50M in debt and equity from Kingsway Capital and Antler Global to acquire brands that sell on Amazon and Ebay. “Currently has 5 Korean local brands.”
Riogrande raises $12M from Y Combinator and Wollef to acquire ecommerce brands in Latam. Has a focus on brands doing >$30M revenue per year.
Dianthus raises $11.5M from PJC and Underscore VC to acquire D2C brands and grow them through “its proprietary AI platform”.
Oura raises an undisclosed amount of capital at a $2.55B valuation for its connected health-tracking rings. Has sold >1M rings to date and logs >2.5B sleep hours.
Nothing raises $70M from EQT Ventures for its secretive Android-based smartphone brand.
Apollo Neuro raises $15M from Noetic Fund at a $100M valuation for its wrist-worn device that increases resilience to stress.
Kering acquires Maui Jim, a high end eyewear brand.
iFit raises $355M from L Catterton at a $3B valuation for its fitness equipment brand.
Hydrow raises $55M from Constitution Capital for its connected rower product. “Said its revenue grew three times 2020 levels in 2021. Counts more than 200K users today.”
Aviron raises $18.5M from Stripes for its connected rower product.
Food and Beverage.
Good Culture raises $64M from Manna Tree for its clean-label cultured foods brand which initially focused on cottage cheese.
Finless Foods raises $34M from Hanwha Solutions for its plant-based tuna products.
Jocko Fuel raises $30M from Goode Partners for its nutrituon-focused energy drinks, protein powder, and vitamins products.
Better Dairy raises $22M from RedAlpine and Vorwerk Ventures for its animal-free cheese products.
Partake raises $16.5M from PowerPlant Partners and Amberstone for its non-alcoholic beers.
Tender Foods raises $12M from X for its plant-based meat products that aim to be replicas of muscle cuts from animals.
MeliBio raises $5.7M from Astanor Ventures for its bee-less honey products.
Hylo raises $3.2M from Eka Ventures for its sustainable performance-focused footwear starting with running shoes.
Aether raises $18M from Helena and Trirec for its diamonds made from atmospheric carbon.
Reliance Retail acquires Clovia, a lingerie and personal care brand offering 3.5K products for millennial women, for $125M.
Better & Better raises $4M from Fifth Quarter Ventures for its natural toothpaste infused with vitamins.
Parfait raises $5M from Upfront Ventures and Serena Ventures for its customized D2C wig brand.
Hypebeast, a streetwear-focused media and ecommerce company, is going public via SPAC. Generated $112M in revenue in the last 12 months.
Farfetch invests $200M in Neiman Marcus and will power the department store group’s e-commerce and omnichannel services.
Threads Styling raises $12M from Highland Europe for its chat-based luxury fashion marketplace allowing stylists to sell serve products to consumers.
Wasoko raises $125M from Tiger Global and Avenir at a $625M valuation for its Africa-based B2B marketplace connecting retailers to CPG suppliers. “Has delivered 2.5M orders to more than 50K retail customers. Revenue has grown over 500% in the past year.”
GrowSari raises $77.5M from IFC, KRR, and others for its Philippines-based B2B marketplace helping small physical retail stores access inventory. Has >100K retailers onboard.
Bazaar raises $70M from Tiger Global and Dragoneer for its Pakistan-based B2B marketplace connecting retailers with suppliers and also offers various tools and financial services. “Has amassed >2.4M registered businesses across 500 cities.”
Captain Fresh raises $50M from Tiger Global and Prosus Ventures at a $500M valuation for its India-focused, B2B seafood marketplace. “Has set up over 50 collection centers and is helping farmers sell to over 2.5K businesses.”
Profishop raises $35M from Tiger Global for its B2B marketplace connecting businesses directly with manufacturers of power tools, workbenches, agricultural equipment and office supplies. Did >$100M revenue in 2021 from 500K customers and has 1.6K manufacturers onboard.
Sourceful raises $20M from Index Ventures for its software and marketplace that enables brands to procure sustainable packaging. Has around 30 customers today.
Rupa Health raises $20M from Bessemer for its B2B marketplace connecting doctors with providers of diagnostics tests. The company offers discounted wholesale prices on lab tests plus a 7% service fee and has 3K tests available on its platform today.
AgriAku raises $6M from Go-Ventures for its Indonesia-based B2B marketplace enabling retailers to buy seeds, fertilizers and agrochemicals from wholesalers and manufacturers. Has 10K retail customers on the platform today.
Powered by People raises $5M from Susa Ventures and Golden Ventures for its wholesale ecommerce platform based in Kenya. “Works with more than 200 brands and over 45K artisans from 47 countries, who sell to retailers like West Elm and The Citizenry, across major markets including in North America and Asia. The business recorded an annualized run rate of $15M in GMV by mid-March, and they expect to grow this to $25M before the year ends.”
Peeba raises $4M from Headline Ventures for its B2B wholesale platform connecting retailers with suppliers in Asia. “Has onboarded 25K retail users and 1.5K unique brands with over 100K products currently listed on the platform.”
Glimpse raises $6M from GSR Ventures for its marketplace allowing brands to get exposure via placement in short-term vacation rentals.
Weee! raises $425M from SoftBank at a $4.1B valuation for its Asian and Hispanic online grocery service. Now offers >10K items to residents in 40 states.
Justo raises $152M from General Atlantic for its Latam-focused, vertically integrated online grocery business. Offers 9K SKUs and has >100K users in each of its markets.
Licious raises $150M from Amansa Capital and others for its India-based D2C meat and seafood marketplace.
Yami raises $50M from Altos Ventures and Balsam Bay Partners for its marketplace for Asian food, skincare products, and household goods. Provides >260K SKUs across food, beauty, health, and home categories and has >2M customers in the US.
Everli raises $24M from United Ventures for its Instacart-like grocery marketplace. Has fulfilled >4M orders in 135 cities in Italy, France, Poland and Czech Republic.
Flashfood raises $12M from S2G Ventures for its mobile marketplace providing customers access to heavily discounted food nearing its best-by date. Has saved shoppers more than $100M on groceries.
Mara raises $6M from Canary and Caffeinated Capital for its Latam-focused grocery delivery service that offers supermarket items at a wholesale price with free next-day deliveries to a pickup point close to a user’s home.
Farmstead raises an undisclosed amount of capital from Couche-Tard, the large convenience store chain, for its fresh produce grocery delivery service.
Shein, a leader in fast fashion, is rumored to be raising $1B at a $100B valuation.
Kaiyo raises $36M from Edison Partners for its resale furniture platform.
The Expert raises $12M from First Round Capital for its marketplace connecting interior design experts, consumers, and furniture brands with the designer making a cut of product sales.
Loveseat raises $7M from Bessemer for its auction-based marketplace for furniture that sells customer returns or overstock inventory.
ShopThing raises $10M from Origin Ventures for its app allows its network of 100+ shoppers to walk into stores and select products, livestream them to audiences, and then purchase an item on a customer’s behalf. Has 500K users in North America.
FanCraze raises $100M from B Capital Group, Insight Partners, and Cristiano Ronaldo for its marketplace for officially-licensed digital cricket NFTs.
Magic Eden raises $27M from Paradigm for its Solana-based NFT marketplace. Has surpassed transaction volume of more than 7.5M SOL over the last 6 months.
RSTLSS raises $3.5M from Bitkraft for its platform that gives brands, influencers, and artists the freedom and accessibility to create and sell multiverse fashion.
Onlife raises an undisclosed amount of funding from Galaxy Interactive and Alexa Fund for its sneaker game Aglet which lets people buy virtual sneakers or gets them to go walking in order to earn points to earn the virtual sneakers.
Grover raises $110M from Energy Impact Partners for its subscription electronics rental business. “Currently has 0.5M items in its catalog available for subscription and 250K active customers.”
By Rotation raises $3M from Redrice Ventures for its P2P fashion rental platform. Has 200K users in the UK.
Vestiaire Collective acquires Tradesy, a luxury resale marketplace.
MaxSold raises $16M from Framework for its online auction marketplace for estate sales. Has 500K registered bidders in 1.4K US cities.
Boom & Bucket raises $5.5M from Human Capital and Brick & Mortar Ventures, for its resale marketplace for heavy machinery.
Popchew raises $3.6M from Long Journey Ventures for its marketplace enabling creators to build their own restaurant brands and matching them with restaurants to produce the food. Has 100 partner restaurants and has launched 2 creator-led food brands.
SocialGood App raises $14M from Miyako Capital for its crypto rewards app for shopping. “Has partnered with 1.8K major online stores and allows its 1.85M users to earn up to 100% cash back in crypto.”
Leal raises $10M from Rakuten and IDC Ventures for its Latam-focused cash back marketplace that soon plans to launch a co-branded credit card.
Bower raises $4.5M from bIq Invest for its app that directly rewards users with money or coupons when they recycle everyday waste items. Users can scan anything with a barcode, from milk cartons to crisp packets, and receive money, rewards when they take the packaging to a recycling point. “Has become one of Sweden’s most popular apps. Its 300K users in the Nordic region alone recycle more than 1.4M packages every month, and the platform has helped save over 1M kg of CO2 to date. Partners with big brands such as consumer giants Nestlé, L’Oréal and Unilever to help them reach their sustainability goals.”
SwayPay raises $4M from BBG Ventures for its marketplace connecting TikTok creators with brands. Creators create content for their verified purchases and receive up to 100% cash back on the purchase.
Kale raises $3.75M from Forerunner Ventures for its software that allows brands to offer cash-back to their influential customers in exchange for promoting the brand on social channels.
Zomato acquires Blinkit, a large food delivery player in India, for $750M.
Getir raises $768M from Mubadala Investment Company at a $12B valuation. “Has managed to attract 40M app downloads across 9 countries and manages 1.1K dark stores.”
Gorillas raises an undisclosed amount of capital from Mississippi Ventures, the venture arm of Jumbo Supermarkets who Gorillas is also partnering with for its 15-minute grocery delivery service in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Elmenus raises an undisclosed amount of capital from Careem, an Uber subsidiary, for its Egypt-based food delivery marketplaces. Operates in 5 cities and with >12K restaurants.
Food Rocket raises an undisclosed amount of capital from Couche-Tard, the large convenience store chain for its 15-minute grocery delivery service.
Muni raises $20M from Lightspeed Venture Partners for its social commerce platform in Latam where users put in their orders and the supplier drops off the orders with Muni, which picks and packs them and leaves them with the local community leader to take care of the last-mile delivery and collecting the cash payments. Users get 40% lower prices as a result. Has 15K community leaders, 40K customers, and now offers 6K SKUs from fresh produce to electronics.
Blidz raises $6.6M from General Catalyst and D4 Ventures for its Europe-based social shopping app that offers big discounts on goods based on how many people are coming together to buy them.
VerSe Innovation, the parent company of India-based news app Dailyhunt and video app Josh, raises $805M from CPIPIB at a $5B valuation. “Josh app has amassed 150M users. Dailyhunt has >350M users.”
Fanatics raises $1.5B from the NFL and other investors at a $27B valuation for its sports apparel marketplace, sports NFT platform, and yet-to-be launched sports betting platform.
Collectors raises $100M from Turner, D1 Capital Partners, and other existing investors at a $4.3B valuation for its sports card appraisal service and trading marketplace.
Triple Whale raises $28M from Elephant VC for its analytics platform focused on serving brands operating on Shopify. Integrates data across Shopify, Facebook, Google, TikTok, and other popular apps to provide brands with a single dashboard for their key metrics.
Klar raises $2.5M from Cherry Ventures for its analytics platform for SMB ecommerce brands.
CommerceIQ raises $115M from Softbank at a $1B valuation for its omni-channel ecommerce analytics and automation platform serving 2.2K brands like Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, and Kimberly-Clark. Saw 106% YoY revenue growth in 2021 and delivered 215M automations and facilitated $1.1B of commerce.
Rutter raises $27M from A16Z for its universal commerce API that allows users to easily access data across ecommerce storefronts, accounting systems, payment processors and other merchant systems of records.
AiFi raises $65M from Aldi, Verizon Ventures, and others for its computer vision technology that automates checkout in physical retail stores. Currently partners include Aldi, Carrefour, Compass Group, and Zabka Group.
Amazon acquires Veeqo, a UK-based software company that provides inventory and fulfillment tools for e-commerce sellers on Amazon.com and other platforms like eBay and Shopify.
Cart.com acquires DataFeedWatch, a tool to list products directly on thousands of marketplaces and online channels worldwide.
Dianxiaomi raises $100M from Tiger Global and Huaxing Growth for its ERP software called BigSeller which is focused on helping SMB sellers manage inventory, orders, and product listings. Has >370K customers.
Productsup raises $70M from Bregal Milestone for its software to help retailers manages different channels to sell and market products. “Counts more than 900 brands among its customers, including the likes of IKEA, Sephora, Beiersdorf, Redbubble and ALDI.”
ChannelEngine raises $50M from Atomico for its software that helps retailers connect with and sell through more than 200 marketplaces. Has 450 retailer customers and manages distribution for some 6M products from 8.1K brands.
Nocnoc raises $7M from Mouro Capital and Quona Capital for its channel management software that connects international sellers to local ecommerce marketplaces throughout Latam. Has integrated with 17 marketplaces to date.
Cymbio raises an undisclosed amount of capital from PayPal Ventures.
Zaapi raises $4M from GFC and Flourish Ventures for its Singapore-based mobile app that enables small businesses to launch their ecommerce presence. “Is powering 10K businesses across 70+ cities in Thailand.”
nSure.ai raises $13M from MoreTech Ventures for its automated chargeback guarantee platform. “Online retailers sacrifice 30% of sales due to fraud suspicions. nSure.ai claims that its fraud protection intelligence reduces decline rates by 90%, using merchant-specific data to approve up to 98% of transactions.”
Swiftly raises $100M from Wormhole Capital for its unified in-app and in-store shopping platform for grocers which also aims to enable advertising businesses for large-scale grocers like Family Dollar and The Save Mart Companies.
Amplience raises $100M from Farview Equity for its commerce APIs used by 400 brands including Crate & Barrel, Traeger Grills, Ulta Beauty, and Coach.
Shopify acquires Dovetale, a software startup that helps brands manage their influencer marketing programs, and will make it free for all merchants.
Archive raises $8M from Tiger Global and Human Capital at a $100M valuation for its influencer marketing platform. “First Shopify app to do automatic archival and classification of Instagram stories. Has more than 500 customers.”
Black Crow AI raises $25M from Imaginary Ventures for its predictive AI software that updates every 15ms and predicts the value of a customer as they progress through their commerce journey. Has 225 customers like Solo Stove, Sakara Life and Liquid IV and generates 1B predictions per month.
Loyal Guru raises $8.7M from Nauta Capital for its software to enable retailers to manage their omnichannel customer data with a single view and engage those customers.
Novel Commerce raises $6M from Lerer Hippeau at a $21M valuation for its software that allows brands to create NFTs and sell them alongside physical products on their Shopify storefronts, and customers can purchase NFTs with debit or credit cards through the Shopify checkout.
Canal raises $22.5M from Forerunner Ventures for its software that allows brands to connect to partners and sell their inventory through their partners’ storefronts. Olipop and Andie Swim are two brands using Canal.
Disco raises $20M from Felicis Ventures for its software to enable partnerships between brands. “In its first year of business, Disco saw over $1B of transactions across its brand network and over 40M shoppers.”
Akeneo raises $135M from Summit Partners for its product experience management and product information management platform. Some of its 600+ customers include Fossil, 1-800 Flowers, and John Deere.
Stylitics raises $80M from PSG for its visual merchandising software that allows brands and retailers to have a single product image transformed into thousands of inspirational outfits without needing additional photoshoots.
Bods raises $5.6M from Stellation Capital for it platform offering users a digital styling and try-on experience using virtual avatars that resemble them. Sells the technology to retailers.
Dscout raises $70M from Guidepost Growth Equity for its product research platform that allows customers to recruit survey panels and easily analyze the results. Customers include Bose and Brooks Running.
Tastewise raises $17M from Disruptive AI for its AI-powered platform that helps food brands bring products to market based on consumer data. Customers include Nestle, PepsiCo, and Kraft Heinz. Monitors 1M+ restaurant menus.
Highlight raises $8M from First Round Capital for its in-home product testing platform that streamlines everything from recruiting the panel to the logistics of getting products to target customers. Has 100 initial partners.
Topsort raises $8M from Pear Ventures, Quiet Capital, FJLabs, and others at a $110M valuation for its advertising technology that allows businesses to sell sponsored listings, banner ads and video ads on their owned properties. Early customers include Babytuto, Yummy, Facily, Airlift and Chiper.
EnquireLabs raises $4.5M from True Ventures for its customer surveys platform for ecommerce brands. Is used by 2K brands, including Allbirds, Figs and Skims and captured >30M responses last year.
Smarter Sorting raises $25M from G2 Venture Partners for its software that maps product data to regulatory and handling data on millions of regulated consumer products.
Lune raises $4M from Crane for its API that allows retailers to calculation CO2 emissions and show them at checkout. Retailers can also let their customers pay a fee to finance a carbon neutralization project.
Webflow raises $120M from YC Continuity at a $4B valuation for its no-code website building software. Is on track to achieve $100M ARR. Long-term plan is to enable users to all build no-code apps.
Linktree raises $120M from Index Ventures and Coatue at a $1.3B for its link-in-bio creation tool that has 24M users now.
Zip acquires Sezzle for $360M.
Tabby raises $54M from Sequoia Capital and STV for its Middle East-focused BNPL platform that lets users shop, pay later and earn cash from over 3K global brands. Has >1.1M active users.
ChargeAfter raises $44M from The Phoenix for its Israel-based BNPL service and financing network that provides shoppers with approved financing offers from multiple lenders with a single application.
in3 raises $11M from Finch Capital for its Netherlands-based BNPL service that is used by 1.5K merchants.
Anyday raises $4.3M from Inventure for its zero-fee BNPL service.
Reach raises $30M from Vistara Growth for its cross-border checkout and payments platform. Counts Everlane as a customer.
Yuno raises $10M from A16Z, Monashees, and Kaszek for its Latam-focused online checkout solution that solves the pain point of managing multiple payment methods, as well as fraud detection tools, which can be costly and painful to manage.
Ownit raises $8M from Caffeinated Capital, SciFi VC, and others for its one-click checkout product serving D2C brands. “Unlike other one-tap checkout companies, Ownit doesn’t require user signup or login, and instead integrates with the largest commerce and payment platforms where shoppers already are.”
Bolt, a one-click checkout company, acquires Wyre Payments, which helps retailers accept cryptocurrencies, for $1.5B.
Zeller raises $73M from Headline at a $727M valuation for its omni-channel payments platform serving SMBs in Australia. Has signed up 10K businesses in 8 months.
Dash raises $33M from Insight Partners for its Africa-focused connected wallets product that allows users to make transactions from their bank accounts. “Has processed over $1B since its launch in 2020 from 1M customers.”
Zepto raises $19M from AirTree Ventures and Decade Partners for its Australian real-time account-to-account (A2A) merchant payments platform. “Expects to process more than $50B AUD in payments this year.”
Zitti raises $4M from Crossbeam for its restaurant-focused fintech platform that allows customers to manage and finance vendor payments.
Convelio raises $32M from Forestay and Mundi Ventures for its marketplace that enables auction houses, galleries and private art collectors all over the world to quote and book logistics services. “In 2021, was responsible for 14K shipments with a cumulative value of $265M between over 80 countries worldwide.”
Last Mile Delivery.
Dispatch raises $50M from PeakSpan Capital for its B2B-focused last mile delivery service that connects businesses with a network of independent drivers nationwide.
JD.com acquires Deppon Logistics for $1.4B.
99minutos raises $82M from Oak HC/FT for its next-day logistics services for ecommerce brands in Latam. Is live in 60 markets and manages 15M packages per year for 120K customers.
Bigblue raises $15M from Runa Capital for its fulfillment services for D2C brands in France, Spain, and the UK. Has 300 customers today.
Airhouse raises $11M from DNX Ventures for its fulfillment services for D2C brands in the US.
Shippit acquires Premonition, providers of fleet management and routing software, for $20.5M.
Veho, a last-mile delivery provider, acquires QuikReturn, an end-to-end reverse logistics company powering software and courier solutions for retailers.
Calico raises $2M from Serena Ventures for its software that allows D2C brands to manage their factory relationships and purchase orders.
ProductDonation of the Week
My mind continues to be caught up in the Ukrainian war. This week, I recommend donating to the Ukrainian government directly so they can fund their defense. Donate here. 🇺🇦