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The powerhouse of Marketplace and D​irect​ToConsumer brands showed that both can be successful at the same time in the earnings report last week!!

  • Amazon Q1 Rev grew 44% YOY to $108.5BLN
  • Shopify Q1 Rev grew 110% YOY to $988M

Both businesses growing very fast and continue momentum even as pandemic restrictions ease in many parts of the world.

You might have noticed also that one is “BLN” and the other is “M”!

Many media like to position Shopify as a challenger to Amazon dominance but it’s just not an accurate comparison (at least my perspective), the rise of Shopify clearly shows the momentum in Direct To Consumer strategy as well as the rise of entrepreneurship! (love the company but the comparison is not yet accurate)

Also in the news:

  • Walmart expand delivery into the home
  • Mailchimp moves into e-commerce
  • Ivorian Afrikrea partners with DHL & Visa to launch an e-commerce platform
  • LatAm’s Merama raise 160M for Ecommerce grab
  • India’s ElasticRun raises $75M to grow its commerce platform

Amazon’s sales surge 44% as it smashes earnings expectations

Amazon’s sales surge 44% to $108.5 billion! One of the most interesting data point reported is the increase of Primer Subscribers, the company increased by 50M the amount of subscribers VS last year. It has now 200M people paying the $119 fees, that’s almost $24Bln in revenue just with a prime subscription!!!

Walmart expand delivery into the home

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The purchase of online grocery exploded during the pandemic and it’s without a doubt the category of products that saw the fastest acceleration of online commerce.

In 2019, Walmart Inc. started testing a service to deliver groceries right into fridges while customers were out. The company initially started in 3 cities: Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Vero Beach, and expanded then to Northwest Arkansas, Southeast Florida and planning to Atlanta in July. There is significant disruption in the $1.8 Trillion US Grocery market and this kind of solution could bring a competitive advantage to Walmart.  In the same week of this announcement, Amazon expanded its delivery to the garage to 5000 cities. In-home delivery is not an “if” but rather a “when” and “how” it will happen.

Mailchimp moves into e-commerce

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The newsletter company Mailchimp which became a full marketing platform is now moving to become an eCommerce company. Mailchimp is launching it’s own online stores for small and medium businesses, it will let users build sites with unlimited pages and without bandwidth restrictions, and include SEO tools and integration with Google Analytics.

With the rise of Direct To Consumers and the rise of platforms like Shopify and all the others, this might be a smart move!

Ivorian startup Afrikrea partners with DHL and Visa to launch SaaS e-commerce platform ANKA

On the 24th of July 2019, Moulaye (CEO & founder of Afrikrea) got introduced to me by my very good friend Eric Touati. Afrikrea is a marketplace for African-based and inspired clothing, accessories, arts, and crafts.

At that time, Moulaye was looking for some high-level contacts at DHL in order to start discussing cross border shipping as the company was expanding.

2 years later, DHL & Afrikrea agreed to a partnership to launch an eCommerce platform called ANKA which allow users to sell from Africa, ship products to anywhere in the world and get paid through local and international African payment methods.

Exciting times ahead Moulaye! Lots of​success to the Afrikrea team​!

Start up the week:

Armed with $160M in funding, LatAm’s Merama enters the e-commerce land grab

Merama, a five-month-old e-commerce startup focused on Latin America, announced last week it has raised $60M in Series A funding and $100 million in debt. The company want to be the “largest and best-selling set of brands in Latin America.”

This trend of highly funded early-stage startups has been on the radar for a couple of months already, similar companies like Branded, Thrasio, Perch, Valoreo are aiming to partners or acquire successful e-commerce sellers work with them to “exponentially” grow.

India’s ElasticRun raises $75 million to grow its commerce platform for neighbourhood stores

ElasticRun is part of the wave of Indian startups focusing on social commerce and digitization of traditional neighbourhood stores. The company helps more than 125,000 neighbourhood stores in India to secure working capital, inventory from top brands and work with e-commerce firms to boost revenues for these SMBs.

The company has raised $75M to expand its offering.

Elasticrun is particularly interesting in my perspective as it combines helping the SMBs owners by providing them tools & capital but also by giving them work. The company partner with some of the biggest e-commerce firms, including Amazon and Flipkart,​to​utilize this workforce to make deliveries to customers.

Interesting mix.

Nabil Malouli is VP, Global E-commerce for DHL Supply Chain where he leads the innovation, strategy and product development of its e-commerce fulfilment and last-mile solutions.


Photo credit @ Elaine Smith/ Flickr

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