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Social shopping and why it is trending 🛍

Social shopping and why it is trending 🛍
March 3, 2021

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While digital-native brands like Warby Parker, Everlane, Allbirds, and Away all added brick and mortar stores over the past few years, the pandemic has certainly derailed many of their plans. Meanwhile, e-commerce with US retailers grew 44% in 2020, the highest in at least two decades according to Digital Commerce 360. One trend that is driving e-commerce growth in the midst of social distancing is influencer shopping through live streaming and social media. 

🇨🇳 It all began in China
E-commerce in China is already a giant and is the fastest-growing e-commerce industry in the world. Alibaba’s Taobao Live is the dominant player in live streaming with around 80% share according to Forbes but social media apps like Douyin, the Chinese version of Tiktok, and Kuaishou are stepping up their game, helping brands and small local businesses reach new customers, including the senior population. In fact, in 2019, 30% of China’s population viewed live streams, and 2020 was projected to hit 39%. Key opinion leaders (or KOLs) are the key drivers of sales. Like American influencers, Chinese shoppers tune into live stream channels of KOLs for recommendations and during China’s biggest online shopping period 11.11.20 (ie, November 11, 2020), KOLs Viya and Austin Li generated over $149.4MM in pre-sales.

🇺🇸 Back in the US 
While not yet as big in the US as it is in China, video shopping technology is being pushed hard by big tech and startups. Amazon has been using live video as a part of its Prime Day experience since 2019. Instagram Checkout is already allowing users to quickly make purchases on their app and is steadily introducing a live shopping feature. Walmart is also bringing social shopping to its customers in collaboration with TikTok, which has already been adding the feature to its own platform. Live shopping channels QVC and Home Shopping Network have started to shift to digital shopping and report that digital platforms make up 60% of sales. The former started the first shoppable live streaming on YouTube TV last month. 

💰 Funding live streaming
Talkshoplive, a startup from California, raised its first seed round of $3MM last month and will be using its platform to help small businesses and celebrities host shopping-focused live videos. The best part is its technology doesn’t require additional downloads, lowering the barrier to shop for consumers. Bambuser is a Stockholm-based public company focused on a live shopping product and has started to gain attention among investors, who helped it raise two rounds of equity in 2020. According to an interview with Techcrunch, the company’s net sales in Q2 of 2020 were up 669% YOY.

Klarna moves into banking 
Buy-now-pay-later platform Klarna is launching consumer bank accounts in Germany, moving closer to an all-in-one app for its users. 
[Pymnts]
SPACs record $109BN in February
SPAC transactions globally in February reached a record $109BN, with the first two months of 2021 at 75% of last year's total in terms of activity count.
[Financial Times]
Since last week, PrivCo has added:
6,804 Companies | 265 Funding Activities | 131 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Syniverse Technologies raises $750MM led by Twilio 
Telecommunication Services • Equity • Tampa, FL

Clover Biopharmaceuticals raises $230MM co-led by GL Ventures and Temasek Holdings
Biotechnology • Equity • Chengdu, China

Artiva Biotherapeutics raises $120MM
Biotechnology • Round B • San Diego, CA

Axonius raises $100MM co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Stripes Group
Technology Services • Equity • New York, NY

Tenaya Therapeutics raises $106MM
Biotechnology • Round C • South San Francisco, CA

Skydio raises $170MM led by Andreessen Horowitz
Drones Consumer Products • Round D • Redwood City, CA

HowGood raises $6MM
Food Software & Internet Services • Equity • Brooklyn, NY

Heyday SkinCare raises $20MM led by Level 5 Capital Partners
Health Care Services • Round B • New York, NY

Burrow raises $25MM
Home Furnishings • Round C • New York, NY

Cipher Skin raises $5MM
Wearables • Round A • San Diego, CA

Wisetack raises $19MM
Fintech Software & Internet Services • Equity • San Francisco, CA

FloorFound raises $4MM led by LiveOak Venture Partners
Logistics Software & Internet Services • Seed • Austin, TX

Hubilo Technologies raises $23.5MM co-led by Balderton Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners
Events Software & Internet Services • Round A • San Francisco, CA

Malta raises $50MM
Energy Commercial Products & Office Supplies • Round B • Cambridge, MA

Orna Therapeutics raises $80MM led by MPM Capital
Biotechnology • Round A • Cambridge, MA

Aquarium raises $2.6MM
AI Software & Internet Services • Seed • San Francisco, CA

Toro Company acquires Left Hand Robotics
Industrial Machinery • Acquisition • Longmont, CO

Citrix Systems completes acquisition of Wrike for $2.25BN
Collaboration Software & Internet Services • Acquisition • Mountain View, CA

Wix.com acquires SpeedETab
Fintech Software & Internet Services • Acquisition • Fort Lauderdale, FL

Cardlytics acquires Dosh for $275MM
Consumer Finance • Acquisition • Austin, TX

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