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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.

Simbe Secures $26 Million In Funding

Simbe Robotics, Inc. announced two separate funding deals today – a Series A equity financing round and an inventory financing agreement with SoftBank Robotics (SBR). The $26 million Series A was led by Venrock with participation from Future Shape, Valo Ventures, and Activant Capital. The equity capital will go toward business operations including growing their team; scaling sales, marketing and customer success functions; and continued investment in R&D.

Neighborhood Goods Raises $11 Million Ahead Of New Store Openings

Neighborhood Goods, a retailer that positions itself as the modern reinvention of the traditional department store, has raised $11 million in a new round of financing led by Global Founders Capital to aid in expanding its brick-and-mortar presence. More specifically, the funding is designed to help Neighborhood Goods secure more real estate, build its staff, ramp up its supply chain with faster delivery options and build out a backend digital platform where all the retailer’s brand partners can check sales metrics in real time.

Olivela Raises $35 Million In Series A Funding

Olivela, a fashion and beauty retailer housing 400+ luxury brands, has secured $35 million in Series A financing led by Morgan Stanley. The company is built on a philanthropic business model, donating 20% of proceeds to charitable causes across the globe. The funding will be used to fuel Olivela’s next phase of growth, which will include more partnerships with charitable partners locally, nationally and internationally. Olivela is curating a “Women’s Empowerment” takeover that will kick off with a trip to Jordan to meet with 30 young women who were sent to school from Olivela’s donations last year, as well as 100 more who will go to school next year.

Theatro Secures Strategic Investments From Honeywell And Cisco

Theatro, the developer of a voice-controlled mobile platform connecting hourly employees to enterprise resources, has secured investments from Honeywell Ventures and Cisco Investments. Neither company has disclosed the total amount they have invested in Theatro. The investments by Honeywell and Cisco are designed to help maximize the reach of Theatro’s in-ear virtual assistant for retail store associates and expand the industries and markets Theatro can serve.

Cole Haan Preps For IPO

  • Published in News Briefs
Premium shoemaker Cole Haan, currently owned by private equity firm Apax Partners, is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO), following significant sales and profit growth. The decision comes after the footwear company said its annual sales grew 14% to $687 million, while adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization…
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Boll & Branch Receives $100 Million Investment To Boost Growth

Boll & Branch has received a $100 million strategic investment from the Flagship Buyout Fund of L Catterton. The retailer will use the funds to fuel its growth, accelerate the expansion of its retail and wholesale businesses and support its direct-to-consumer business. "We have grown quickly since our launch in 2014, and are thrilled to welcome L Catterton to the Boll & Branch family,” said Scott Tannen, Founder and CEO of Boll & Branch, in a statement. “L Catterton brings unmatched experience in direct-to-consumer retail and home goods and is the ultimate value-added partner."

JRNI Raises $6 Million In Financing, Names Chief Technology Officer

JRNI, a customer engagement platform for omnichannel conversion, has closed a $6 million extension to its Series C financing led by PeakSpan Capital, with participation from Downing Ventures and Somerston Group. The round builds on the $13.4 million Series C financing JRNI received in April 2018 and brings the company’s total funding to $23.2 million. The investment will help JRNI expand its global footprint and accelerate its sales, marketing, development and customer success initiatives in the U.S. Additionally, JRNI recently rebranded from BookingBug to reflect the modern customer journey.

Q2 Roundup: Walmart Wins Big, Department And Apparel Stores Must Prepare For Tariffs

With another major earnings week underway, the biggest names in retail continue to grab the most attention, albeit for quite contradictory reasons: Walmart was a big winner despite its internal struggle over high e-Commerce losses; Department stores such as Macy’s, Kohl’s and JCPenney still haven’t shown significant signs of growth even as partnerships and investments ramp up; and Current and looming Chinese tariffs continue to put worry lines on the faces of department store and apparel retail executives. Walmart reported a 37% increase in e-Commerce sales, along with a total revenue increase of 2.9% to $131.7 billion, while same-store sales jumped 2.8%.The average ticket was up 2.2%, better than a 1.8% increase a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) was $1.27, outperforming the $1.22 initially forecast by Refinitiv. Some of the best news for Walmart comes in what to expect down the line. For the remainder of the fiscal year, Walmart now forecasts an adjusted EPS to range between “a slight decrease to a slight increase,” an improvement compared with a prior forecast that was calling for “a low-single-digit percentage” decline.  “This is a bold statement from Walmart,” said Jharonne Martis, Director of Consumer Research at Refinitiv in an…

Vuori Secures $45 Million Investment To Fuel Further Growth

Activewear retailer Vuori has received a $45 million growth equity investment from Norwest Venture Partners. Norwest will acquire a minority stake in the retailer and Jon Kossow, Managing Partner at Norwest, will join the Vuori board of directors as part of the deal. Norwest has been building a portfolio of direct-to-consumer and omnichannel brands that includes Birdies, Casper Sleep, Grove Collaborative, Jolyn, Kendra Scott, Madison Reed and Topo Athletic. Its investment will help Vuori maintain its rapid growth rate, which has hit close to 200% annually.

Nudge Rewards Fuels Team Growth With $9.3 Million Investment

Nudge Rewards has closed a $9.3 million growth round, led by Jump Capital with support from existing investors. The funding, which brings the solution provider’s total financing to over $15 million, will be used to help Nudge scale its go-to-market capability and grow the data science team. These efforts will help Nudge design solutions that use predictive insights into frontline team performance to help retailers boost their employee experience management abilities. The Nudge app lets retailers design mobile campaigns that positively influence behaviors and empower associates, rather than relying on audits.

Lucidworks Secures $100 Million In New Funding

Lucidworks, an AI-powered search solution provider, has secured a $100 million investment from investors including Francisco Partners, a global technology-focused private equity fund, and TPG Sixth Street Partners, a global finance and investment firm. Moving forward, Lucidworks is focusing on building out its flagship Fusion software and enhancing its AI and data science platform.Lucidworks builds algorithms that bring in other data sources, such as past shopping patterns, a shopper’s location, what kind of walking a shopper might be doing, what other people like the shopper have purchased, to produce a more focused list of products a shopper is more likely to buy.

Klarna Secures $460 Million Funding Round For U.S. Expansion

Klarna, the Sweden-based bank and payment giant, has raised $460 million in an equity funding round and is now valued at $5.5 billion. The payment company, which provides a “buy now, pay later” installment service for shoppers, said it would use the new funds to continue expanding into the U.S. market, which is already growing at a rate of six million users per year. The Klarna shopping app, which allows its users to shop with Klarna at any store or brand online, has driven 3X more daily downloads than direct competitors, with 50% of the app users purchasing each week, the company said in a statement.

‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Sezzle Lists IPO On Australian Exchange

Sezzle, a Minneapolis-based installment payments platform, has gone public outside the U.S., raising $30 million USD with its IPO. The company now trades on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). In its first day of trading on July 30, the company saw its stock price jump as much as 80% to $2.20 AUD per share, which represented a market value of approximately $270 million USD. The “buy now, pay later” formula that Sezzle uses is still more common outside the U.S., prompting the company to list on the ASX due to Australian investors' familiarity with the model. “The Australian market is several years ahead of North America” in terms of installment payments adoption, said Sezzle CEO and Co-Founder Charlie Youakim in a statement.

Computer Vision Provider Acquires Image Recognition Service, Raises $100 Million

Trax, a computer vision and analytics solution provider, has acquired Planorama, a supplier of image recognition services. Trax also raised $100 million in additional funding, bringing its total raised to over $350 million. A person familiar with the deal says this brings the company’s value to $1.3 billion, according to Reuters. The addition of deep learning-based image recognition technology from Planorama will help Trax build on its existing features, which include market measurement and analytics services powered by image recognition, machine learning and IoT platforms. These new solutions can help retailers build merchandising recommendations, monitor POS compliance and use shelf insights to improve the in-store customer journey.
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