Category Archives: eCommerce

Move over Le Creuset? A new cookware startup founded by and for millennials is getting down to business

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine a product or industry that a new e-commerce startup hasn’t tried to remake already, from slippers to mattresses, from luggage to lipstick. Yet two childhood friends in New York have seemingly struck on a fresh idea: taking on the stodgy and often expensive world of cookware, where one’s options out of college are usually limited to a few pieces of Calphalon or Farberware or, in the best-case scenario, some Le Creuset, the premium French cookware manufacturer founded back in 1925 and known for its vibrant colors, including Marseille, Cerise, […]

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Italic launches its marketplace for affordable luxury goods from top manufacturers

A new startup called Italic says it’s already received more than 100,000 signups for a marketplace where you can buy handbags, eyewear and other luxury products directly from the manufacturers who work with the world’s best-known brands. The marketplace is officially launching today. Italic is also announcing that it’s raised $13 million in funding from Comcast Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Index Ventures, Ludlow Ventures and others. Founder and CEO Jeremy Cai previously co-founded the Y Combinator-backed hiring startup OnboardIQ (now known as Fountain.com), so this sounds like a […]

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Uber launches rider loyalty Rewards like credits & upgrades 9 cities

Uber’s new loyalty program incentivizes you not to check Lyft or the local competitor. Riders earn points for all the money they spend on Uber and Uber Eats that score them $5 credits, upgrades to nicer cars, access to premium support and even flexible cancellations that waive the fee if they rebook within 15 minutes. Uber Rewards launches today in nine cities before rolling out to the whole U.S. in the next few months, with points for scooters and bikes coming soon. And as a brilliant way […]

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Skincare startup Heyday raises $8M

Heyday, a startup aiming to make facials more affordable and personalized, announced today that it has raised $8 million in Series A funding. I first wrote about the company a year ago, when it raised its $3 million seed round. At the time, co-founder and CEO Adam Ross said his goal was to offer something that sits between expensive, high-end facials and “random little places that are generally cheap in a bad way.” (Heyday pricing starts at $65 for a 30-minute session.) The company currently operates six […]

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Clearbanc raises $70M to give startups ad money for a rev share

Selling equity to buy Facebook and Google ads is a bad deal for startups. Clearbanc offers a fundraising alternative. For fast-growing businesses reliably earning sales from their marketing spend, Clearbanc offers funding from $5,000 to $10 million in exchange for a steady revenue share of their earnings until it’s paid back plus a 6 percent fee. Clearbanc picks what merchants qualify by developing tech that scans their Stripe, Facebook ads, and other accounts to assess financial health and momentum. It’s already doled out $100 million this year. […]

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Sneaker marketplace GOAT announces an AR-centric Black Friday giveaway

Black Friday giveaways have become a tradition for online sneaker marketplace GOAT. Today it’s announcing the details of this year’s campaign, which will be its first to incorporate augmented reality. Director of Communications Liz Goodno described this as “the largest digital sneaker event of the year.” The company says it will be offering more than 1,000 prizes, including sneakers like the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Shattered Backboard, KAWSx Air Jordan 4 Retro Black, Pharrell x BBC x NMD Human Race Trail Heart/Mind, plus curated sneaker […]

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Brooklinen launches a pop-up shop in NYC

Brooklinen, the direct-to-consumer bed linens brand, has today announced the opening of a four-month pop-up shop in NYC. The company has been around for four years thus far, and recently hit $100 million in revenue after raising just $10 million in funding. Part of the company’s success comes down to its attention to detail. The process of shopping for sheets is often difficult for new adults who don’t understand how to weigh quality and price, and usually don’t get much help in stores like Bed Bath & […]

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Sequoia leads $10M round for home improvement negotiator Setter

You probably don’t know how much it should cost to get your home’s windows washed, yard landscaped or countertops replaced. But Setter does. The startup pairs you with a home improvement concierge familiar with all the vendors, prices and common screwups that plague these jobs. Setter finds the best contractors across handiwork, plumbing, electrical, carpentry and more. It researches options, negotiates a bulk rate and, with its added markup, you pay a competitive price with none of the hassle. One of the most reliable startup investing strategies […]

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Dynamic Yield, which builds Amazon-like personalisation for the rest of us, raises $38M

Amazon, one of the world’s largest companies, has transformed the face of commerce in part because it has managed at once to be “The Everything Store” but still with a route into its sea of products that, for most users, surfaces what they might most want to see (and importantly buy or consume). That kind of personalisation has become a goal not just for e-commerce companies, but for any organization running a digital business: users are constantly distracted, and when their attention is caught, they do not […]

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Retail-as-a-service provider Leap raises $3M and launches first store

The past decade in retail has been the golden age of direct-to-consumer (D2C) and digitally native vertical brands (DNVBs) that use the internet to communicate with customers, execute transactions, handle distribution and offer better economics. But as small independent startups have scaled into unicorn territory and as countless brands have saturated digital channels, customer acquisition has gotten harder and costlier. Companies are now trying to meet customers with different purchase habits by developing physical stores.  However, building an effective brick-and-mortar presence can be expensive and risky for DNVBs, […]

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