The weekly Retail Tech Roundup compiles technology news across the supply chain, manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, logistics and fulfillment sectors.
Payments giant Stripe has raised a $600 million funding round for a valuation of approximately $95 billion, the company confirmed. It will use the capital to invest in its European operations, and its Dublin headquarters in particular, support surging demand from enterprise heavyweights across Europe, and expand its global payments and treasury network.
Primary investors include Allianz X, Axa, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Sequoia Capital, and Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).
Of the 42 countries in which Stripe powers businesses today, 31 are in Europe. European warehouse club wholesale Metro AG ans outdoor apparel and equipment retailer Mountain Warehouse are among the businesses that have recently partnered with Stripe to leverage its services, with companies like secondhand apparel and footwear marketplace Vinted, designer fashion retailer MatchesFashion and Klarna also teaming with the company.
Stripe now has more than 50 corporate customers that each process more than $1 billion annually.
While Stripe initially built its platform as a simple way for developers to integrate payments into any app or site with only a few lines of code, the company has branched out from payments.
The team has built a programmable infrastructure for global money movement, known as its global payments and treasury network, as well as a growing roster of products and services designed to helping businesses manage fraud, cashflow and more. The company says it is expanding to new markets including Brazil, India, Indonesia, Thailand and the UAE.
B2B merchandising/digital events
B2B e-commerce platform NuOrder has raised $45 million in a funding round led by Brighton Park Capital and Imaginary Ventures.
NuOrder delivers a global commerce solution that offers virtual showroom technology, visual assortment and merchandising tools, payments and data integration capabilities enabling brands and buyers to interact, showcase and browse product and manage merchandise orders.
The platform connects more than 3,000 brands and more than 500,000 retailers and has processed more than $40 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV), the company says.
The investment will support NuOrder’s continued growth and expansion within focus areas including the European market and fashion and luxury retail.
Natalie Massenet, co-founder and managing partner of Imaginary Ventures and founder of Net-A-Porter, will join as a board member and strategic partner to help guide the expansion efforts. Managing partner Mark Dzialga of Brighton Park Capital will also assume a seat on the board and contribute his expertise in helping companies execute against their global ambitions and within payments and marketplace.
Over the past 12 months, NuOrder has seen 125 percent growth as businesses need to digitize and streamline their processes, with 30 percent of GMV coming from Europe. Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s conduct all of their buying and selling through NuOrder exclusively.
In January, it launched NuOrder Payments, so vendors can choose to support click-to-purchase and pay later experiences within the wholesale platform. The offering is designed to provide greater flexibility for buyers and reduce the chance of cancellations or delays, allowing brands to manage both immediate and pre-book orders all in one place.
Buyers can store their preferred payment methods within a digital wallet, for easy access across the NuOrder ecosystem.
Direct-to-consumer fitness apparel and accessories brand Gymshark and Bioworld, a global manufacturer of pop-culture apparel and accessories, have both implemented Centric Software’s Product Lifestyle Management (PLM) enterprise solution.
“If we enter into another lockdown, and need to work remotely, our PLM will definitely facilitate the ease in which we share information,” Justine McCarthy, development director, said at Gymshark in a statement. “In this early stage, we are seeing huge benefits in our materials process, with an estimated 30 percent increase in productivity. Admin and communication between teams is seamless, and human error has been greatly reduced. We are able to create more accurate tech packs, in a much more efficient way.”
Gymshark’s first “go live” with Centric PLM was in May 2020.
“We manage tens of thousands of unique products every year from a development and also from a production standpoint,” said Nathan Grant, vice president of creative at Bioworld. “We have to track progress of each product from inception to production to retail throughout the development life cycle while also managing our clients’ approvals and changes. The volume of products and approval process adds to the complexity of our operations.”
The implementation process took just three months. According to Grant, whenever the team has a challenge in the product development process, they can test a solution in the system that same day without impacting production.
“Everything from design, to tech packs and building BOMs, sampling, merchandise and line planning, is a lot more efficient than before,” said Patrick Flanagan, director of IT at Bioworld. “The ‘one source of the truth’ is key.”
Zenreach, a provider of brick-and-mortar marketing solutions and the creator of what it calls “Walk-Through Rate” technology, now says it is enabling businesses to see both online and in-store shopping attribution from online advertising efforts.
This technology is billed as a new way of measuring return on ad spend (ROAS), taking into account both online conversions as well as in-store walk-throughs for holistic measurement and attribution. The company’s walk-through rate is a proprietary metric that shows when someone exposed to an ad visits a location.
Furthermore, with its point-of-sale integration capabilities, Zenreach says it also can identify the precise customer spend driven from marketing efforts—or whether they spent at all.
Using Zenreach, retailers can segment customer data to analyze ad performance using campaign, location, specific ad creative and time period as analyzers. Zenreach also enables users to measure performance by location with new map visuals depicting customer walk-throughs and revenue driven from ad campaigns in real time.
Foot traffic is measured using the store’s guest WiFi signal to monitor when a customer enters. This data can then be segmented to know which in-store customers have seen their online marketing campaigns and which customers have not.
PredictSpring, an omnichannel commerce platform provider, unveiled that its Modern POS platform has achieved “Built for NetSuite” status. The newly approved SuiteApp, built using the Oracle NetSuite SuiteCloud Platform, is designed to help organizations connect their online and in-store experiences by offering a mobile-first experience that supports clienteling, endless aisle and inventory management for retailers.
PredictSpring Modern POS platform is a modular and configurable solution that supports NetSuite customers across several retail verticals. It enables retailers to extend critical information such as items, orders, inventory and customer data to the point of sale.
The platform also enables brands to view client information and loyalty status through clienteling, provide curbside pickup, reconcile POS transactions in NetSuite, and view real-time inventory receiving, cycle counting and store transfer data, all in one place.
Built for NetSuite is a program for NetSuite SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN) partners that provides them with the information, resources and methodology required to help them verify that their applications and integrations meet NetSuite standards and best practices. The Built for NetSuite program is designed to give NetSuite customers additional confidence that SuiteApps, like the PredictSpring platform have been built to meet these standards.
Omnichannel commerce platform provider Lightspeed POS has acquired Vend, a cloud-based retail management software company, for approximately $350 million in a deal expected to close in April. The acquisition strengthens Lightspeed’s global retail base and builds on its foothold in the Asia-Pacific region, approximately doubling the company’s customer base and expanding its retail footprint in that region.
Under Lightspeed, Vend’s customer base can access the company’s broader commerce solutions, such as Lightspeed Payments, Lightspeed eCommerce, Lightspeed Loyalty, and gain future access to the Lightspeed Supplier Network.
Upon the closing, Lightspeed will serve as the technology partner for over 135,000 customer locations worldwide. The company’s technology is aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses looking for scalable cloud-based platforms to sell across channels, manage operations, engage with consumers and accept payments.
The acquisition builds on Lightspeed’s $440 million acquisition of e-commerce POS provider ShopKeep and the $430 million deal for restaurant POS platform Upserve, as the company makes a larger play across the entire POS spectrum.
Barbour will use Metapack’s Delivery Manager, Delivery Options and its Returns Portal to access more carriers, automate the shipping and returns process, and to further extend delivery options to consumers.
With Delivery Manager, Barbour can access more than 400 delivery carriers and more than 4,900 delivery services, better enabling it to fulfill on its delivery promise to consumers while reducing operational processing times.
Using the platform, the retailer can access the services via a single integration, select the right delivery service for each order, and generate carrier compliant labels and customs documents for all shipments.
“Having the correct technology in place is key for us as we continue to evolve our brand, e-commerce offering and fulfil on our delivery promise to our customers,” said Gareth Dixon, group financial controller at Barbour. “By leveraging Metapack’s technology not only do we have a single gateway to different carriers and flexible services, we’re also able to automate key shipping process and reduce the reliance on our IT resources. Most importantly, we’re able to strengthen the buying experience for our consumers at every stage in their online journey—from checkout to delivery and even returns.”
Barbour can extend delivery options with Metapack to provide next-day, same-day or even click-and-collect for shoppers. Ideally, the retailer can enhance the consumer experience and also drive additional revenue through website conversions by ensuring consumers are presented with the correct delivery option and accurate fulfillment dates for each order.
The third major feature, Metapack’s Returns Portal, helps Barbour to automate its return process, allowing the company to reduce its customer support calls and provide consumers with more convenient options to ship and track e-commerce returns. With Metapack, Barbour has a selection of more than 350,000 drop-off locations to choose from.
Nimble Robotics, Inc. raised a $50 million Series A found led by DNS Capital and GSR Ventures with participants including Accel and Reinvent Capital. The robotics and e-commerce fulfillment technology company says the capital supports its hiring plans, bolsters product and technology development, and helps to scale robot deployments for its customers’ fulfillment operations. Nimble is also adding Fei-Fei li, former chief scientist of AI at Google Cloud, and GoogleX and Waymo founder Sebastian Thrun to its board of directors.
Nimble’s robots leverage artificial intelligence to pick, pack, and handle millions of products, spanning from apparel and electronics to beauty, general merchandise and grocery items, picking more than 100,000 items per day for customers including several Fortune 500 retailers.
Bambuser has formed a new In-Store Solutions business unit dedicated to building interactive live shopping experiences connecting physical and digital spaces. The division will focus on building and delivering customer offerings that can attract and engage with target audiences from a physical store or shopping center.
The decision comes after AMF Fastigheter, one of Sweden’s largest property owners, which brought Bambuser’s Live Video Shopping experiences to the Mood Stockholm commercial center. Live Video Shopping is Bambuser’s cloud-based software solution that is used by retailers to host live shopping experiences on websites, mobile apps and social media.
This partnership resulted in the launch of Mood TV, a live broadcast fashion and lifestyle series, and The Lobby Live, a studio space in which brands can host a combination of livestream and real-world shopping experiences and other events.
Since launching Live Video Shopping in 2019, Bambuser has supported the launch of interactive, shoppable e-commerce experiences for numerous global brands and retailers including Moda Operandi, Farfetch and Samsung. With Covid-19’s impact on brick-and-mortar traffic, the company experienced a surge in adoption by more traditional and legacy retailers including Dillard’s and Showfields in the U.S., Åhléns and NK in Sweden, among others.
Joining Bambuser to spearhead the division is Annelie Gullström, head of new business and innovation at AMF Fastigheter. For the past five years at AMF Fastigheter, Annelie kept the company ahead of rapid changes throughout the industry, playing a key role in executing The Lobby Live. Gullström will take the position on April 6.
“Retailers are under tremendous pressure to adapt to the industry’s deep, abrupt transformation. As the line between online and offline commerce increasingly blurs, it’s imperative they implement strategies that turn these challenges into an advantage,” Gullström said. “At AMF, I experienced first-hand how Live Video Shopping can have that impact, and in my new role with Bambuser, I look forward to helping more businesses benefit from the symbiosis it drives. It’s an exciting time filled with opportunity, and I’m excited to be part of the team developing solutions that will enable more businesses to thrive.”
3DLook, a provider of AI-driven mobile body measuring and fit solutions, has raised $6.5 million in a Series A funding round, led by Almaz Capital with participation from TMT Investments and Zubr Capital.
The funding will be used to extend the leadership team in the U.S. with the hiring of new vice presidents of sales and customer success, and establish new R&D labs in the U.S. and Western Europe. The team is also working on creating a consumer-facing product that would enable real-time virtual try-ons in AR.
3DLook’s goal is to strengthen their leadership in the fashion and uniform markets in the upcoming year before expanding to a variety of other industries that require personalization based on consumer bodies.
The company says its revenue grew by 5.6X since April 2020, and also claims that its e-commerce customers have seen a 30 percent decrease in returns and 4X conversion rates year over year.
The company’s mobile camera-based solutions use a patented combination of computer vision, neural networks and 3D statistical modeling to instantly generate an avatar of each consumer’s body and compute more than 100+ data points using just two photos. The solution then maps the customer’s body data with product data to generate personalized fit and size recommendations and empower brands with body data intelligence to create better fitting clothes.
3DLook’s solutions are designed to give brands actionable insights to optimize design, product development, inventory planning, and distribution.
The investment brings the company’s total fundraising to $11.2 million, of which $7.9 million was secured during the Covid-19 crisis. Previous investors include Boost VC, 500 Startups, ICU Ventures, U Ventures (part of Horizon Capital), and supermodel Natalia Vodianova.
3DLook’s customers include Tailored Brands, as well as uniform industry giants Safariland and Fechheimer Bros and a total of more than 100 clients around the world.
Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.