news

News

BigCommerce, which provides e-commerce services to merchants, has filed to go public. The Austin, Texas, based e-commerce company raised over $200 million while private. The company’s IPO filing lists a $100 million placeholder figure for its IPO raise.

 

The company is going from strength to strength based on performance in 2019 compared to 2018, and Q1 2020 in contrast to Q1 2019:

  • In 2019, BigCommerce’s revenue grew to $112.1 million, a gain of around 22% from its 2018 result of $91.9 million.
     
  • In Q1 2020, BigCommerce’s revenue grew to $33.2 million, up around 30% from its Q1 2019 result of $25.6 million.

 

If the company’s revenue growth acceleration continues in the most recent period — bearing in mind that e-commerce as a segment has proven attractive to many businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic — BigCommerce’s will have timed the IPO very well.

To read more, click here.

Walmart and Shopify have announced that they are partnering to bring 1,200 sellers onto Walmart.com's third-party marketplace by the end of this year. The focus of the program is "U.S.-based small and medium businesses whose assortment complements ours," Walmart Marketplace Vice President Jeff Clementz said in a company blog post.

 

Activating the Walmart e-commerce channel through Shopify allows sellers to sync their assortments with Walmart.com to easily track orders, inventory and fulfillment within Shopify, and manage product information on Walmart.com, according to a Shopify press release. 

 

Shopify sellers won't pay fees to list their products on Walmart.com but will pay "referral fees" when they make a sale, Shopify said.

To read more, click here.

Tictrac, a leading Health Engagement company, has today announced it has secured a further £6m in funding, bringing its total investment to date to £13.5m.

 

Led by London-based Puma Private Equity, the latest round will allow the company to expand its Employee Wellbeing (SaaS) platform, in a bid to tackle increasing stress levels and health problems in the workplace.

 

At a time when employee engagement has never been more important, with nearly 80% of workers in the UK experiencing some level of stress, Tictrac’s new Employee Wellbeing platform will support businesses to empower their staff in taking greater control of their health and wellbeing.

 

The Tictrac platform has been cleverly designed to seamlessly fit into an individual’s daily lifestyle. It uses behavioural science to identify trigger points where extra motivation may be required and provides fresh and engaging content to keep users inspired each day.

 

This content, contributed by well-known health and fitness influencers, includes fitness, yoga and other training videos, meditation and mindfulness, easy recipes and blog posts which provide users with constant inspiration and advice on how to improve their lifestyle.

 

Founded in 2010, the company has partnered with some of the world’s biggest healthcare and insurance providers, including Aviva, Allianz and Prudential, and now, through its new employer-focused platform, aims to create the world’s most engaged wellbeing community.

To read more, click here.

Five, a UK-based self-driving company,  has raised $41 million in a Series B round of equity funding.

 

The new investors are Trustbridge Partners, Direct Line Group and Sistema VC. Existing investors Lakestar, Amadeus Capital Partners, Kindred Capital and Notion Capital also participated in the round, which makes Five one of Europe’s best-funded self-driving startups, with $77 million raised to date.

 

Stan Boland, Five’s CEO, said: “This funding round is validation of the work we are doing and the role our technology is set to contribute to developing and assuring self-driving. We’re excited to be able to accelerate development and engagements with partners."

To read more, click here

As ‘authentic’ link-ups with bodies focused on conservation projects become more and more popular, Procter & Gamble has forged a partnership with London's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

 

The consumer products giant has linked with Kew via the global Herbal Essences brand and said this week that the partnership between the two is designed to “help save 20 endangered US plant species from extinction in 2020”. 

 

P&G added that some plants are becoming extinct faster than animal species are but that they get less attention. The plants under threat that the new partnership wants to save include the Venus Fly Trap, Blue Ridge Huckleberry and Douglas Clover. Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank is working with partners like the Center for Plant Conservation in Escondido, California, to help conserve seeds from these species. 

To read more, click here.

Selfridges have been recognised for its commitment to sustainability at the inaugural Positive Luxury awards, which celebrate companies and individuals that are working towards affecting positive change in businesses and the world.

 

Selfridges was presented with the Retailer of the Year award at a ceremony held in London, with Positive Luxury highlighting the department store’s leadership in removing single-use plastics in packaging and products. Selfridges has also developed science-based targets to ensure it achieves net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and in June it launched a Beauty Booth to offer shoppers refillable, packaging-free cosmetics.

 

Other winners included Nadja Swarovski, CEO of Swarovski, who received Business Leader of the Year; Weleda, which was honoured with the Better World Initiative of the Year; and Stay Wild Swim, which received the Breakthrough Brand of the Year title.

To read more, click here

Retailers in Hong Kong have launched themselves into a rare battle with the city’s notoriously unflinching landlords for deeper and longer-term rental cuts, as they reel from the double whammy of the coronavirus epidemic and months of political unrest.

 

Hong Kong’s economy contracted for the first time in a decade in 2019 after anti-government protests scared tourists away and emptied shops and restaurants. Now, many retailers fear the coronavirus crisis is threatening their survival.

 

Last week, around 50 brands took part in an unprecedented strike, shutting 200 shops across prime shopping malls for a day to demand their landlords reduce rent. Now they’re staging a second strike.


The striking retailers want base rent to be waived and only turnover rent to be charged, as foot traffic has dropped dramatically in recent weeks. Commercial leases vary across sectors and locations but these retailers are mostly on terms that pay either base rent or a percentage of turnover.


Mall landlords — major property developers, such as Henderson Land and Sun Hung Kai Properties — have slashed February base rents and some have extended the cuts to March. But retailers say this is still too much to bear.

To read more, click here

Minute Media, a global technology and digital publishing platform, has announced it has raised $40 million in venture capital, bringing its total funding to $160 million.

 

This latest round of funding was led by Dawn Capital with participation from existing investors.

 

The new funds will be used to support global expansion and enhancements to its tech publishing platform, further invest in the recently acquired The Players’ Tribune athlete-focused content and prepare for future acquisitions.

To read more, click here

In response to the demands of clients and the rapidly growing industry of investing in loans, Mintos is expanding its range of services by launching a mobile application for Android and iOS. Mintos mobile app was developed with a deep focus on the research of existing client approach to investing and the possibilities of the smartphone as an access tool.

 

Having gone through extensive community consultations with over 3500 mobile app beta version testers – a group of investors on Mintos, the app development focused on enhancing existing features of Mintos service, with added capabilities that would increase investor accessibility, engagement and security.

 

Current Mintos mobile app version offers a starting base – easy and quick access to investors’ accounts and investment monitoring in a few swipes on their phones. Upcoming mobile app releases will offer additional functionalities adjusted for smartphones, including the majority of investing experience already accessible on the Mintos marketplace. Mintos is working to provide investors’ with essential insights for smart investment decisions via its app.

To read more, click here.

Speedinvest, a European venture capital fund with offices in London, Berlin, Vienna, Munich and San Francisco, has raised €190 million for its third flagship fund, surpassing its original target ahead of schedule due to high investor demand.

 

The oversubscribed round increases Speedinvest’s total AUM to more than €400M.

 

Unlike typical European venture capital funds managed by small partnerships or teams, Speedinvest has 40 investment professionals working across five, sector-focused investment teams, along with 20 operational experts providing portfolio companies with full-service HR, growth marketing, business development, and U.S. expansion support.

 

Working from five cities across Europe, and writing initial tickets from €50K up to €1.5M, the sector-focused investment teams will invest in Fintech, Deep Tech, Marketplaces, Industrial Tech, Digital Health and Consumer Tech startups, supplying the early-stage businesses with the time, sector expertise and value-adding operational resources they need to scale.

To read more, click here