All posts tagged: ecommerce

TechTaka raises .5M for its e-commerce fulfillment service

TechTaka raises $9.5M for its e-commerce fulfillment service

TechTaka, a South Korean online shopping fulfillment startup that provides third-party logistics services for e-commerce sellers, has raised $9.5 million (12.6 billion KRW) in a Series B round of funding from a sole investor, Altos Ventures.  The outfit helps e-commerce sellers manage the supply chain, from warehousing, order packing and shipping, so that TechTaka users can focus on product and marketing. The startup also provides a SaaS operating system to optimize the online vendors’ supply chain and logistics operations.  Soo Young Yang (CEO), who had stints at Amazon and Coupang as a software engineer, and Kyung Wook Lee (CTO), who previously worked at Coupang, founded TechTaka in May 2020 and launched its fulfillment service called Argo in March 2021.  Yang told TechCrunch that he had firsthand experience at the e-commerce giants of how fast delivery services are significant to customers. His expertise and interests in logistics and optimization led him to start TechTaka to offer quick and reliable logistics services.  TechTaka offers its users next-day delivery (orders by midnight for packages that arrive the next day), which …

Meesho taps micro-entrepreneurs to plug gaps in India’s supply chain network

Meesho taps micro-entrepreneurs to plug gaps in India’s supply chain network

India is one of the fastest growing economies, yet its supply chain system remains antiquated, operating much as it did decades ago. The logistics sector is highly fragmented, with a majority of small, regional operators lacking scale and efficiency. Regional truckers still rely on brokers and word-of-mouth to secure cargo, while severe truck shortages in urban manufacturing hubs delay transport of goods. And that’s a problem for India’s rapidly expanding e-commerce sector — and the players involved.  Meesho – backed by Prosus Ventures, Fidelity, SoftBank and Peak XV – is having a go at plugging the gaps in the country’s supply chain. The Bengaluru-headquartered startup launched a network, called Valmo (short for value movement), on Wednesday that aims at bringing together logistics platforms, technology partners and small entrepreneurs operating sorting centers to optimize the delivery process. Meesho is betting on micro-entrepreneurs because they have strong understanding of local communities and have the latent capacity to take on additional work, the startup said. The network allows delivery partners to be located closer to users, thereby reducing …

E-commerce startup ShipBob seeks to hire banks for 2024 IPO -sources

E-commerce startup ShipBob seeks to hire banks for 2024 IPO -sources

E-commerce logistics provider ShipBob is seeking to hire underwriters for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) that could be launched this year, according to people familiar with the matter. The Chicago-based company has invited several major investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America and Barclays, to pitch for underwriter roles on the IPO, the sources said. The IPO could value ShipBob at as much as $4 billion, one of the sources said. The sources requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. ShipBob, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Citi and Bank of America did not immediately respond to requests for comment. JPMorgan declined to comment. The U.S. IPO market is slowly recovering after two years of subdued activity. Last week, athletic apparel maker Amer Sports raised $1.37 billion in a discounted U.S. IPO, one week after BrightSpring Health Services priced its $633 million offering below its indicated range. ShipBob, which handles fulfilment for small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses, named former Amazon logistics executive Melissa Nick as its first chief supply …

Accel eyes new India fashion e-commerce bet with Newme

Accel eyes new India fashion e-commerce bet with Newme

Accel, an early investor in Indian e-commerce giants Flipkart and Myntra, is preparing a new fashion e-commerce bet in India even as competition intensifies with the recent expansion of Mukesh Ambani’s Ajio platform. Accel is in advanced talks to lead a $15-20 million funding round into Newme, an Indian fast-fashion e-commerce startup, according to four people familiar with the matter. The proposed funding would value Newme, dubbed “Shein for India” by some backers, at around $83-85 million post-money, one of the sources said. The potential new backing comes just a week after Newme announced it had raised $5.4 million in seed funding led by Fireside Ventures. Newme sells its own rapidly-changing clothing lines online and through offline channels, targeting India’s Gen Z consumers with average order values between $18-30. The startup, founded in 2022, claims to have served 350,000 customers and offer 500 new designs weekly at an average price point of $10. Accel’s interest comes after it previously backed Virgio, another Indian online fashion retailer later pivoted. The fast-fashion e-commerce space has gained ground …

E-Commerce and AI: A Perfect Match — If Done Right

E-Commerce and AI: A Perfect Match — If Done Right

As Thanksgiving Day’s record-breaking $5.6 billion in online sales heralds a new era in e-commerce, it also underscores an urgent need for businesses to embrace advanced technologies like AI. With consumers increasingly turning to digital solutions, there is an opportunity for e-commerce to leverage AI for enhanced customer experiences and operational efficiencies. This shift represents not just a trend but a forward-thinking imperative for those looking to stay at the forefront of the digital marketplace revolution. One of the hottest e-commerce technology trends is AI, but some AI adoption challenges hinder implementation. AI applications in e-commerce must contend with a complex tech ecosystem of diverse tools, resources, and personnel. This complexity includes inventory management, demand forecasting, marketing, customer acquisition, retention, and customer experience. Adding AI tools to the mix adds more complexity, resource intensity, and execution risk. The Benefits Are Worth the Effort Yet, e-commerce is booming, and the risk is worth it because AI tools offer significant advantages. Whether a business seeks to enhance its marketing efforts, improve the customer experience, or even glean customer insights, AI offers …

Facebook Marketplace Is Being Ruined by Zelle Scammers

Facebook Marketplace Is Being Ruined by Zelle Scammers

Some scams encourage people to upgrade their Zelle accounts to a business tier to receive money from a buyer, according to the Better Business Bureau, and come from emails mimicking Zelle, but with different domains. That upgrade appears to cost $300, and the buyer promises to send it if the seller will then refund it. The catch: the $300 was never sent and appeared only in faked screenshots or emails. So, when the seller sends $300, they’re really just losing the money. Zelle’s website notes that it will send emails only from domains ending in @zelle.com and @zellepay.com, and any others could be scams. The company did not answer more specific questions about Facebook Marketplace scams, citing an effort to keep intel from fraudsters. Other scammers use Google Voice, asking people for their verification code—all under the guise of verifying that the person isn’t a scammer. But with that code, a scammer can then create a Google Voice number using the victim’s phone number, which helps them to conceal their identity for future scams. Additionally, …

Two of Africa’s largest B2B e-commerce platforms MaxAB and Wasoko in merger talks

Two of Africa’s largest B2B e-commerce platforms MaxAB and Wasoko in merger talks

Egyptian B2B e-commerce startup MaxAB and Wasoko, a Kenyan-based e-commerce player that operates in the East African country alongside Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia, are in talks to merge operations, TechCrunch has exclusively learned from multiple sources. They say talks are still ongoing and the agreement hasn’t been finalized yet. Wasoko has been scaling down operations in recent months: it recently conducted its largest round of layoffs, which affected most of its employees in Kenya, including some of the company’s executives. Earlier in the year, it left Senegal and Ivory Coast markets and closed hubs including the one in Mombasa, Kenya, amid push for profitability. Besides, our sources claim that while Wasoko closed a $125 million round last year, the funding was to released as it met set milestones. TechCrunch learned that the company had only received $30 million by the time merger talks, which are said to be investor-led, started Wasoko raised the Series B from big firms such as Tiger Global and Avenir at a post-money valuation of $625 million. Like Wasoko, MaxAB, …

Meet Flip, the Viral Video App Giving Away Free Stuff

Meet Flip, the Viral Video App Giving Away Free Stuff

Clare Walker, a 23-year-old in Brooklyn, has racked up about $700 worth of gift cards or, in her words, “free money,” by referring her contacts to Flip. “There were definitely some people who I haven’t really kept up with since high school, but I was like, ‘Hey, add me on Flip. Here’s a free 75 dollars, enjoy,’” Walker says. Her purchases on Flip include JBL wireless headphones, a variety of luxury skin-care products, and a live houseplant. Noor Agha, CEO of Flip’s developer, Humans Inc, says his product’s sudden popularity renders Flip “one of the fastest things that ever happened in ecommerce,” although he declined to share even a ballpark estimate of the size of his user base. He claims to have made the first platform “built for brands only” and rejects the suggestion that cash-incentivized referrals are driving Flip’s rise or are essential to its survival. Agha argues that by allowing anyone to monetize their reviews, while barring users from directly working with brands as influencers usually do, Flip should foster a more genuine …

Sorry California, Amazon Will No Longer Sell You Donkey Meat

Sorry California, Amazon Will No Longer Sell You Donkey Meat

If you are planning to buy your donkey meat on Amazon this Christmas, you may have to look elsewhere. The world’s largest online retailer says it has stopped selling edible donkey in California, WIRED has learned. Amazon’s new policy kicked in after months of negotiations with the Center for Contemporary Equine Studies, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting horses. In February, the center filed a legal complaint alleging that Amazon’s sale and distribution of products that contain ejiao—an ingredient made with donkey skin that’s popular in health supplements—violates a California animal-welfare law called the Prohibition of Horse Slaughter and Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption Act. Horsemeat, the center argues, includes donkeys. As part of a settlement to that complaint, Amazon has agreed to stop selling products that contain ejiao in California. According to court documents, Amazon denies any wrongdoing and disputes the center’s allegations. But in an interview with WIRED, Corey Page, an attorney with the law firm Evans & Page who represented the center in the lawsuit, speculates that “Amazon doesn’t settle cases …

Ex-Metaswitch CEO John Lazar joins Copia’s board as the Kenyan e-commerce outfit rakes in M to push toward profitability 

Ex-Metaswitch CEO John Lazar joins Copia’s board as the Kenyan e-commerce outfit rakes in $20M to push toward profitability 

Kenyan e-commerce and fintech platform for mass market consumers Copia Global has appointed John Lazar, the ex-CEO of Metaswitch, a Microsoft subsidiary, to its board off the back of $20 million in new funding. Enza Capital, the Pan-African VC firm that Lazar co-founded in 2019, was among the large participants in the Series C extension round, which also includes global private bank LGT, investment firm Goodwell Investments, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), German financial service provider DEG, Swiss impact fund Elea, Perivoli Foundation and Sorenson Foundation. Lazar has deep experience building and managing businesses. He joined Metaswitch Networks in 1987 as a software engineer before becoming chairman and CEO as the company established its leadership in cloud communications software, with investment backing from Francisco Partners and Sequoia Capital. Lazar, who stepped down from both roles in 2016, four years before Microsoft acquired the company, also chairs the U.K.-based charity Raspberry Pi Foundation and is an angel investor and mentor in the U.K. and Africa, with over 40 pre-seed and seed investments. In a …