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Making history! ParcelLab makes history with 112M Series C funding! I call this the Ecommerce Cause to Effect! 

Ecommerce sales exploding (Cause) = Returns volume exploding (Effect)

Ecommerce consumer more demanding (Cause) = Improve Consumer Experience (Effect)

This is what ParcelLab is addressing by helping retailers, brands and marketplaces improve the post-purchase experience & returns process. I got the chance to recently see the technology in action and it’s probably the best technology globally for the post-consumer experience!

Since the beginning of the year, we saw multiple investments and acquisitions in the space of returns, but this is the most impressive fundraising! (And not the only one last week)!

Also last week…

  • Paypal bought Happy Returns
  • Reconomy bought ReBOUND
  • Lithuania Vinted raised $303M for 2nd Hand Marketplace
  • UK fashion portal Lyst raises $85M
  • Walmart bought Zeekit, the virtual fitting room
  • Acquco raises $160M to buy and scale e-commerce businesses

Returns Madness!

ParcelLab Nets $112 Million Series C, Hopes To Disrupt U.S. E-Comm Logistics

Happy Returns bought by PayPal

;

On May 3rd, Affirm announced the acquisition of Returnly!

On May 13th (10 days after), Paypal announced the acquisition of Happy Returns!

Basically, 2 financial services companies acquiring the 2 largest returns solutions in the US market! Interesting coincidence no?

Managing returns is a headache for companies + a problem for the consumer, that’s why solutions like Happy returns help through technology & large network (2600) of drop-off returns locations to manage that process on behalf of brands & retailers.

In the case of Paypal & Affirm, I think that the most interesting for these companies is the refund process that they can obviously, start influencing & managing!

ReBOUND Returns bought by Reconomy

At this point, you are probably tired of hearing about returns and payment so let’s make it short!

Rebound (another return management solution that saw its global return volume rise by 65% during Covid) got acquired by Reconomy (provider of outsourced, asset-light services to the circular economy).

That’s it for returns for this week, I promise.

ReCommerce

Vinted raises $303M for its 2nd-hand clothes marketplace, used by 45M and now valued at $4.5B

The Recommerce trend continues to accelerate and second-hand clothing is a very hot space. The Covid pandemic definitely raised the importance of circular economy and sustainability. A recent study “The State of Consumer Spending: Gen Z Shoppers Demand Sustainable Retail”, shows that 62% of GenZ prefer to buy from sustainable brands! That’s probably why you see all the companies starting to do some serious actions.

The European leader of second-hand clothes and home goods marketplace Vinted just raised $303M at €3.5Bln valuation! Love to see this kind of companies growing and succeeding, this is what I call “Good For the Planet, Good for the Wallet”

Interesting Fact: Vinted is born in Lithuania! Innovation & Disruption is coming from everywhere, not only Silicon Valley!

Marketplaces

UK fashion portal Lyst raises $85M in a ‘pre-IPO’ round at a $700M valuation

UK startup Lyst, the high fashion brands and stores that sell directly to users just raised $85M. The company is very comparable to the older (or bigger) brother Farfetch (Valuation $14Bln) but there is definitely space for a couple of companies as the growth of eCommerce continues

Did you know? Lyst new users grew by 1100% in 2020. Nice growth!!

Software

Walmart acquires the virtual fitting room company Zeekit as it makes push into fashion

Walmart continues its acquisition journey in the space of eCommerce. This time acquiring Zeekit, a virtual fitting room tech firm!

If you missed our coverage of Zeekit in the previous newsletter, the software lets shoppers upload a photo of themselves to see how an item fits, or choose from a range of models with different body types.

So what?

This kind of technology is key in the future of eCommerce because it allows seeing how a product looks on you which can significantly reduce returns (Sorry, I promised I would not talk about returns anymore but couldn’t keep that Zeekit claims that their tech reduced 36% of returns for its clients).

Basically, Better fits = Reduced return costs for Walmart, last year, US shoppers sent back $102 billion worth of products bought online (Source: NRF)

What Else? Snap recently bought Fit Analytics (Zeekit rival) in Mar for $124M as it’s pushing more into eCommerce.

Startup Of the week: Acquco

Led by ex-Amazonians, Acquco raises $160M to buy and scale e-commerce businesses

One of the biggest trend, this year is…

I put a group of very successful entrepreneurs together.

These entrepreneurs raise a huge amount of money.

Take that money and go buy many successful brands selling on Marketplaces.

Help them to scale like never before.

Make money, exit or go IPO….

This is pretty much the story of many companies from the likes of Thrasio, Perch, Branded, Berlin Brands Group, SellerX, Heyday, Heroes, Merama, Valoreo and now Acquco! Even if in every announcement, the companies tell you that they are doing something significantly different than the others, it will be interesting to see which one really becomes the leaders in this space!

Ecommerce quarterly earnings to watch this week

Tue: Baozun, Walmart

Wed: Target,

Thru: Pinduoduo

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 @ parcelLab

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