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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.

Bolt Raises $68 Million To Bolster Online Checkout Capabilities

Bolt, a cloud-based online checkout platform, has secured a $68 million Series B funding round led by Activant Capital and Tribe Capital, with financial support from retail executives at Allbirds, REVOLVE, Jet.com and Bombas, according to a blog post by CEO Ryan Breslow.  With this funding, Bolt has raised $90 million in total. The checkout software company will use the capital to: Grow its engineering team; Invest in additional enterprise functionality for larger retailers; Partner with more e-Commerce platforms, shopping carts and payments platforms; and Expand globally.

Depop Raises $62 Million To Fight Counterfeiting, Expand Globally

Depop, a UK-based peer-to-peer social shopping app, has raised $62 million in Series C funding. The most recent financing round was led by General Atlantic, with investments from Balderton Capital, Creandum, Octopus Ventures, TempoCap and Sebastian Siemiatkowski, founder and CEO of Klarna, the Swedish payments company. Targeted at Millennials and members of Generation Z, the mobile fashion marketplace intends to use the funding to grow its London-based engineering and data teams and implement more recommendation and image detection algorithms, specifically to speed up the rate of removing counterfeit or illicit items. Additionally, Depop will allocate this funding to expand internationally, specifically in the U.S. CEO Maria Raga said the U.S. is becoming the eight-year-old startup’s largest market, with five million current users and a projected 15 million in three years. Despite the rise of peer-to-peer selling platforms like Poshmark and Vinted and social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest increasing their e-Commerce presence over the past few years, Depop has seen 100% year-over-year revenue growth and brought in gross merchandise value (GMV) of more than $500 million since its launch. Depop takes in 10% cut of the GMV sold, working out to total revenues being about $50 million for the period.…

Zyper Raises $6.5 Million In Series A Funding

Zyper, a peer-to-peer marketing software platform, has raised $6.5 million in Series A Funding, bringing its total funding to $8.5 million. The most recent financing round was led by Talis Capital, with contributions from Forerunner Ventures and Y Combinator. Founded by entrepreneur Amber Atherton in 2017, Zyper will be allocating these funds to the opening of the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, the expansion of its engineering and sales teams and the development of its predictive analytics engine and recommendation system algorithms.

GameStop Comp Sales Decline 10.3% In Q1 2019; New CEO Reviewing Business

GameStop reported a year-over-year total sales decline of 13.3% and a comparable sales decrease of 10.3% in Q1. The weakness was driven by a 20.3% drop in pre-owned sales alongside a 35% dip in new hardware sales and a 4.3% decrease in new software sales, which were somewhat offset by a 10.5% increase in collectibles sales. The sales decline follows a disappointing 2018 holiday season when sales dropped 5% compared to the previous year. Additionally, the struggling retailer had been seeking a buyer but abandoned its plans in January, though it successfully sold its Spring Mobile division for $700 million in November 2018.

Revolve Launches IPO, Anticipates A $1.2 Billion Valuation

Revolve, an online fashion retailer, is launching an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), with plans to offer 11.8 million shares to raise as much as $211.7 million. The IPO price is currently estimated to be between $16 and $18 per share on the NYSE under the ticker “RVLV.” The IPO is expected to begin trading during the week of June 3. Under these terms, Revolve would be valued at $1.2 billion.

Installment Payment Provider Raises $20.7 Million In Funding Round

Splitit Payments, an Australia-based global monthly installment payments solution, has raised $30 million AUD ($20.7 million USD) in a funding round. The company is hoping to raise up to an additional $10 million AUD ($6.9 million USD) by offering 12.5 million shares to certain eligible shareholders in a share purchase plan.

As Department Stores Struggle To Drive Sales, TJX, Walmart And Target Soar

The great Q1 results from Walmart and Target indicate that these top players have been doing everything they can to keep up with both Amazon and the shopper’s needs — and that it’s working. But in the same week, the results from major department stores Kohl’s, JCPenney and Nordstrom illustrate that their efforts to adapt are not yet resonating with consumers. Additionally, TJX continues to cut into these department stores’ profits, indicating how hard it is to compete with the value offered by lower prices. Q1 delivered unfortunate earnings reports for Kohl’s, JCPenney and Nordstrom: Kohl’s saw same-store sales decline 3.4%, the first drop in the category in seven quarters, with disappointing performances in seasonal goods and home categories. The retailer trimmed its full-year guidancerange, from $5.80 to $6.15 per share down to $5.15 to $5.45 per share; Nordstrom saw same-store sales dip 3.5%, income plummet from $87 million last year to $37 million in Q1 2019, and the retailer cut its full-year guidance range from $3.65 to $3.90 per share down to $3.25 to $3.65 per share; and JCPenney saw the worst same-store sales dip of the three at 5.5%, and a startling net loss of $154 million, nearly…

Chewy Files For IPO

E-Commerce pet food retailer Chewy has filed for an IPO and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CHWY.” The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined.

Amazon Outperforms Q1 Earnings Expectations With Record $3.6 Billion Net Income

Amazon heavily outperformed Q1 earnings expectations, reporting earnings of $7.09 per share — well ahead of the $4.72 per share predicted by Refinitiv. Profitability continues to be a bigger priority for the e-Commerce giant; its net income reached a record $3.6 billion, while its operating income of $4.4 billion represented…
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PayPal Participates In $11 Million Happy Returns Funding Round

PayPal has made a strategic investment in Happy Returns as part of an $11 million financing round that also included existing investors U.S. Venture Partners and Upfront Ventures. The returns, logistics and reporting solution provider has raised a total of $25 million since its founding in 2015. “Our mission is to make returns more delightful for consumers, more cost-effective for retailers, and more sustainable for the planet,” said David Sobie, Co-Founder and CEO at Happy Returns in a statement. “We’re thrilled to work with PayPal to make the process of returning more seamless for shoppers and our service more broadly available to PayPal’s large network of merchants.”

FullStory Raises $32 Million To Expand Digital Customer Experience Capabilities

FullStory, a digital intelligence platform, secured $32 million in Series C funding. The round, which brings the company’s total funding up to $47 million, was led by Stripes Group. Existing investors, including Dell Technologies Capital, GV, Kleiner Perkins and Salesforce Ventures, also contributed. The company said it plans to use the funds to expand on its platform’s digital intelligence capabilities and grow its team with at least 100 new hires over the next year.

Vue.ai Raises $17 Million To Deliver AI-Driven Styling Recommendations, Visual Search

Vue.ai, a platform designed to provide retailers with AI-driven and computer vision-based styling recommendations, automated product tagging, shoppable content and visual search capabilities, has raised $17 million in a Series B funding round led by Falcon Edge Capital. The new round brings the company’s total capital raised to $27.5 million. Already generating a fourfold annual revenue increase in 2018, Vue.ai will use the funds to grow its international team and scale its existing consumer base, according to a company statement. The platform is designed to automate critical functions across departments that are heavily dependent on human intuition, unifying data about products, people and processes. Global retailers such as Macy’s, thredUP, Argentina-based Mercadolibre and India-based Tata presently use Vue.ai.

China-Based Luckin Coffee Files U.S. IPO After Raising $150 Million

Starbucks has aspired to become the preferred coffee destination in China for a few years now, originally outlining a plan to open 5,000 cafés by 2021. But it is not the only coffee company pursuing aggressive growth in this market: China-based Luckin Coffee is planning 2,500 stores in 2019 alone, one year after building out a total of 2,000 in 2018. In the latest stage of its expansion, Luckin Coffee filed for an IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The coffee chain intends to list under the symbol "LK" on the Nasdaq, setting a placeholder amount of $100 million to indicate the size of the IPO, according to an SEC filing. The filing reports a 3,883% revenue increase between Q1 2018 and Q1 2019, but with losses more than tripling total revenue over that same period. For the first three months of 2019, the company continued to post a net loss of $85.3 million. Much of these losses come from the rapid store expansion — Luckin only opened its first café in October 2017 — in addition to the company’s focus on value pricing. It’s a far cry from the Starbucks focus on brand prestige to attract…
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