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Which retail companies have reported the most successful year-over-year growth? How much did company X spend on its latest expansion? In the Retail TouchPoints Financial News section, industry insiders can find out what their peers are spending and how they are faring in the marketplace. This information can be useful for future implementation strategies, real estate ventures and growth opportunities.

Elastic Path Closes $33 Million In Series B Funding

Elastic Path, an enterprise headless commerce solutions provider, has completed a $33million Series B financing round. The capital was led by private investment company Sageview Capital, with participation from current investors Yaletown Partners and BDC Venture Capital. This additional capital brings Elastic Path’s total funding to $54.4 million.

$550 Million Google Investment Opens U.S. Sales Channel For JD.com

Google will invest $550 million in cash in Chinese e-Commerce giant JD.com. By combining JD.com’s supply chain and logistics with Google’s technology, the two companies will collaborate to develop retail infrastructure designed to better personalize the shopping experience and reduce friction in several markets, including Southeast Asia. As part of…
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Kustomer Secures $26 Million In Series B Funding

Kustomer, a customer experience, service and support platform, has raised $26 million in Series B funding, bringing the total round to $38.5 million. The new capital will fund the company’s plans to expand its platform and focus on intelligence, integrations and enterprise capabilities. The solution provider’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform for customer experience allows service organizations to gain insight on customers with real-time omnichannel capabilities and delivers personalized, memorable experiences by integrating all business data and automating intelligent workflows, resulting in higher lifetime value.

Nordstrom, JCPenney Disappoint In Q2, But For Different Reasons

Although Macy’s successfully maintained its holiday season momentum in Q1, fellow department stores JCPenney and Nordstrom weren’t as fortunate in their earnings results. Same-store sales at Nordstrom rose 0.6% in Q1, below estimates of 1.1%, while JCPenney same-store sales rose 0.2%, well short of analysts' forecasts for roughly 2% growth. JCPenney saw total revenue dip 4.3% to $2.58 billion, but narrowed its net losses from $187 million to $78 million. The most unfortunate result for JCPenney is its expectations for the year: 2018 guidance initially ranged between earnings of $0.05 and $0.25 per share, but the retailer has cut the outlook range down to a loss of $0.07 to a gain of $0.13 per share.

Lulus Raises $120 Million On The Back Of Strong Millennial Following

Lulus, an e-Commerce fashion retailer, has closed a $120 million investment from IVP, a venture capital and growth equity firm, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), a global investment management firm.   With the funding, Lulus plans to support growth initiatives like building out its East Coast fulfillment center, entering new categories such as shoes, and increasing its headcount.

Macy’s Continues Positive Post-Holiday Momentum In Q1, Raises 2018 Outlook

The 2017 holiday season delivered much-improved results for Macy’s and a few of its department store competitors — and Macy’s has taken its first step to answering doubts on whether it can build on that success. In Q1, Macy’s saw numerous financial metrics surpass analyst expectations, including: Net income nearly doubled year-over-year, from $78 million ($0.26 earnings per share) to $139 million ($0.45 earnings per share) vs. an expected $0.37 EPS; Revenue increased 3.6% to $5.54 billion vs. $5.43 billion expected; Same-store sales increased 4.2% vs. 1.4% expected; and Online sales experienced “double-digit growth.”

BorderX Lab Raises $20M To Expand Shopping App Beyond China

Technology-enabled e-Commerce company BorderX Lab has raised $20 million in a financing round led by Kleiner Perkins. The funds will be used to expand its Beyond App, which lets global shoppers purchase American and European lifestyle products, to countries outside China. The mobile app focuses on the fashion, beauty, health care and lifestyle categories, with 50 partners including Saks Fifth Avenue, Peter Thomas Roth, Finish Line, Forzieri and Everlane. More than five million products are available on the platform. The Beyond App combines big data with artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the end-to-end shopping experience, including integrating merchant product catalogs, processing customer orders, shipping route optimization, and customs and tax processing. BorderX also handles customer acquisition, authentication and purchase of goods, translation and localization of product information. Other investors in this round include Hillhouse Capital Group, China Broadband Capital, Welight Capital and iFly Venture Capital.

Birchbox Sells Majority Stake After QVC Deal Falls Through

Nine months after reportedly putting itself up for sale, Birchbox appears to have found a buyer for a majority stake in its business. Viking Global Investors, a hedge fund and prior investor in Birchbox, has invested $15 million into the subscription box retailer, according to a report from Recode. If accurate, the price would undoubtedly be a massive disappointment for Birchbox, which has raised nearly $90 million in total funding since its launch in September 2010. The retailer had a valuation as high as $485 million after its $60 million Series B funding in April 2014, making it clear that the Birchbox brand has since fallen out of favor in the eyes of potential buyers.

Lucidworks Raises $50 Million To Enhance AI-Powered Search Solutions

Lucidworks, an AI-powered search and discovery platform, has raised $50 million in growth financing. The company will use the capital to expand its enterprise offerings, which help retailers build search and discovery, customer analytics and digital commerce solutions. The use of AI can improve the shopper experience by finding correlations across human, machine and application-generated data in real time and at scale. The software also helps employees extract meaningful pieces of knowledge from gathered data, making it easier to take advantage of the insights from collected data.

BigCommerce Secures $64 Million In Growth Equity Funding

BigCommerce, an e-Commerce platform, has raised $64 million in growth equity funding to expand its platform, technology and team. The round was led by Goldman Sachs with participation from current investors General Catalyst, GGV Capital and Tenaya Capital. BigCommerce has raised more $200 million to date.

KIDBOX Raises $15.3 Million To Boost Customer Acquisition

KIDBOX has secured $15.3 million in a series B funding round, bringing the total raised to date to $28 million. The new funding will be used to further expand the company’s data science team and ramp up customer acquisition. The children’s apparel and accessories retailer offers shoppers a try now, pay later subscription model. Customers take a quiz to determine their preferences, then receive five personalized boxes of products annually. They can choose and pay for the items they want from each box and return the rest.

Drift Raises $60 Million To Build Amazon-Style B2B Platform

Drift, a conversational marketing and sales platform, announced a $60 million Series C funding round, which was led by Sequoia Capital and included additional contributions from CRV and General Catalyst. This latest round of funding brings Drift’s total amount raised to $107 million. The company said the funding will be used to improve customer service and success teams, as well as expand its product beyond email and messaging and into voice and video. These enhancements exemplify Drift’s larger plans to build the “Amazon” of B2B businesses, where the buying process is simplified and centers around a customer-first approach. “We are not here to build another marketing automation platform or create more tools for sales reps,” said David Cancel, CEO of Drift, in a statement on the company website. “We’re on a mission to build the most customer-centric company in the world, and make B2B buying as easy as buying from Amazon… We want to create a customer experience that feels like the Four Seasons or the Apple Store — not a B2B software company — and this funding will allow us to stay laser-focused on doing so.” The company also announced plans to open new offices in Boston and San…
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