DemandJump Secures $6 Million Funding Round

DemandJump, a customer acquisition platform, has completed a $6 million Series A financing round. The capital was funded by a group investors including Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Flyover Capital, Cultivation Capital, 4G Ventures, Bob Davoli and Hyde Park Venture Partners.

The marketing platform plans to use the capital on sales, marketing and product innovation expansion.

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Affirm Debuts Brick-And-Mortar Financing Option, Integrates With Apple Pay

Affirm, a startup that offers instant loans for online purchases, is expanding its financing services to brick-and-mortar retail. Shoppers can use Affirm InStore in physical locations, secure credit approval and pay for their purchase in fixed monthly installments.

Additionally, the company revealed that consumers can instantly add a newly issued Affirm virtual card to Apple Pay, via the Affirm mobile app. The platform gives merchants two options to support the service: they can integrate the Affirm InStore API with their POS system or use the expanded virtual card experience.

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Warby Parker Raises $75 Million Ahead Of Possible IPO

One month after revealing a goal to expand to 100 U.S. stores, Warby Parker has unveiled how it plans on funding this level of growth. The eyewear retailer has raised $75 million, bringing its total funding to date to nearly $300 million.

T. Rowe Price, an asset management firm, led the Series E round. Warby Parker said it plans to use the money for research and development and technology investments. One recent initiative is the Prescription Check mobile app, which lets eligible customers complete vision tests at home and acquire a new prescription without having to visit an eye doctor in person.

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Alibaba Founders Take $20 Million Stake In Rent The Runway

Rent the Runway has received a $20 million investment from Blue Pool Capital, a fund that invests the wealth of Alibaba founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, according to a report in Recode. This financing round values Rent the Runway at slightly under $800 million, according to research firm Lagniappe Labs.

Rent the Runway was already profitable on an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) basis, and Co-Founder/CEO Jennifer Hyman wasn’t planning on looking for new capital. The company’s last fundraising round was in 2016, when it secured a $60 million Series E investment led by Fidelity. However, Hyman saw the involvement of Alibaba’s founders as a unique opportunity for the retailer.

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Glossier Raises $52 Million To ‘Keep Building The Beauty Company Of The Future’

Glossier, a direct-to-consumer beauty brand, has secured $52 million in Series C funding, bringing total venture capital to $86 million. Existing investors IVP and Index Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investors Thrive Capital, Forerunner Ventures and 14W. New investors Imaginary Ventures and Starbucks founder Howard Schultz also joined.

Founder and CEO Emily Weiss sent an email blast this morning to all Glossier subscribers with the headline “Business News (It’s Good),” explaining how the new cash infusion would be used for, “More of the same, really. Just keep building the beauty company of the future: the one you shape.”

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Wall Street Wakeup: New Business Metrics Define Retail Success

The host of the NPR business show Marketplace often asserts that Wall Street is not the economy (usually before he shares the day’s Dow Jones gains or losses). For retailers, particularly publicly held companies, Wall Street valuations definitely are part of their economy — even though those valuations don’t always correspond with today’s retail realities.

For example, on Feb. 20, Walmart reported that it had only half the online sales growth in Q4 that it had in Q3, sending the company’s stock down more than 10% before market closing — the company’s biggest one-day decline since Jan. 8, 1988. The dip accounted for nearly one-third of that day’s Dow Jones 255-point drop, revealing a short-term lack of confidence in Walmart’s long-term strategy — despite a sustained record of e-Commerce success since Walmart’s acquisition of Jet.com in August 2016.

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Birdzi Secures Funding Round, Partners With Three Platform Providers

Birdzi, a provider of personalized digital customer engagement solutions for grocery retailers, has closed a Series A funding round with REVTECH, a retail technology accelerator that focuses on high-growth ventures in retail, grocery and hospitality. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Birdzi is using the new funding to expand its sales and product teams as it launches a new Personalized Wellness initiative in partnership with ScriptSave, a provider of prescription savings plans for grocery store pharmacies.

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Tapestry Gets A Lift From Coach Sales; Expands Influence In Asia-Pacific

0aatapestryThe first post-rebrand holiday season has been a fruitful one for Tapestry, with its Coach brand driving the company to beat Wall Street estimates in fiscal Q2. Overall revenue for Tapestry, the parent company of Coach, Kate Spade & Co. and Stuart Weitzman, rose to $1.79 billion in the quarter ending Dec. 30, beating the average analyst prediction of $1.77 billion, according to Reuters.

Global same-store sales of the Coach brand rose 3%, while Kate Spade’s same-store sales dropped 7%. On the surface, the Kate Spade dip may appear to be a negative, but Tapestry insists that it is by design. The company said fewer sales of Kate Spade-branded products were made online, as it continues to cut back on wholesale distribution and flash sales of that particular banner.

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Rubikloud Raises $37 Million To Expand AI Platform To Europe And Asia

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0aarubikloudRubikloud Technologies, a retail AI solutions provider, has raised $37 million in Series B financing led by Intel Capital. The company will use the funding to expand its offices into Europe and Asia and meet growing international demands for retail AI.

The cloud-native platform and its two flagship applications, Promotion Manager and Lifecycle Manager, are designed to leverage AI to help retailers automate and improve mass promotional planning and loyalty driven marketing, while also enabling them to build their own custom apps.

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SoftBank Makes $3.5 Billion Bet On Fanatics, Flipkart

SoftBank Group is investing a combined $3.5 billion in Indian e-Commerce company Flipkart and sports apparel and merchandise retailer Fanatics. Nearly $2.5 billion of that investment will go to Flipkart, with SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son becoming the company’s biggest shareholder, the companies announced in a statement.

SoftBank’s investment is massive, particularly considering the company apparently took a $1.4 billion loss on investments in its most recent fiscal year, largely from its $627 million funding of Indian e-Commerce marketplace Snapdeal. But this move shows the Japanese tech giant is more than willing to back e-Commerce retailers it deems fit enough to compete with Amazon.

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