eCommerce

JD.com’s logistics business raises $2.5B from Hillhouse, Sequoia China and others

JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce giant that is Alibaba’s closest rival, is raising giving its logistics spin-out business a huge boost after it announced that the unit is raising $2.5 billion. JD Logistics, which became a standalone business last April, is raising the investment capital from a range of backers who include Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia China, China …

The sudden death of the website

You may not know me or even my company, LivePerson, but you’ve certainly used my invention. In 1995, I came up with the technology for those chat windows that pop up on websites. Today, more than 18,000 companies around the world, including big-name brands like T-Mobile, American Express, Citibank and Nike, use our software to …

Sourcify is connecting entrepreneurs directly to pre-vetted overseas factories

If you’ve ever tried to order and source products from overseas you likely know the process is broken. Factories rarely talk directly to customers and middlemen are difficult to track down and there’s usually a significant delay while you wait for them to communicate back and forth with you and the factory. There’s also the …

Frank and Oak picks up $16 million Series C

Frank and Oak, the direct-to-consumer clothing brand based out of Canada, is today announcing the close of a $16 million USD Series C funding round led by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, with participation from Goodwater Capital and Investissement Québec. Frank and Oak launched in 2012 offering personalized menswear, with a recommendations newsletter …

Target partners with Honeyfund to add cash gifts to its wedding registry

Chalk one up to the power of media exposure. The team responsible for building Target’s online registry saw Honeyfund appear on “Shark Tank,” and thought it would be cool to integrate the honeymoon registry service into Target’s own. Today, that integration has gone live across Target’s website, mobile web and in the dedicated Target registry …

Outdoorsy, the ‘Airbnb of RVs,’ rolls up $25 million in fresh funding

According to serial entrepreneur Jeff Cavins, more than 35 million people each year look to rent an RV — 38 percent of them so-called millennials. Yet they often walk away from the experience empty-handed. The reason, he says: there are fewer than 100,000 commercial owned vehicles available from traditional rental services. Cavins says that his …

Amazon is cutting hundreds of corporate jobs, according to a new report

In a rare move for the online retail giant, Amazon is laying off hundreds of corporate workers in its Seattle headquarters and elsewhere, according to a Seattle Times report. The corporate cuts come after an eight-year hiring spree, taking the company from 5,000 in 2010 to 40,000 in its Seattle headquarters and gobbling up several …

YapStone is raising $100M to take on PayPal, Stripe and more in marketplace payments

While a part of the fintech world remains abuzz with crypo-talk, a startup that’s built a business around the more traditional world of payments has raised a significant round of funding as it vies to take on the likes of PayPal, Stripe, Adyen and Dwolla. YapStone, which provides payment services to marketplace-style businesses — customers …

New project outfits Indonesia’s street vendors with free Wi-Fi and smart tech

Investors in Indonesia have started a new project aimed at digitizing the kiosk shops that adorn the street of capital city Jakarta. Warung Pintar — ‘smart kiosk store’ — helps street vendors revamp their store with a bright and colorful design, and a range of tech that includes a digital POS, free Wi-Fi, an LCD screen, …

Alibaba invests another $1.3 billion into its offline retail strategy

Alibaba has furthered its physical retail footprint after it invested another billion dollars into projects to develop its so-called “new retail” strategy which combines online and offline. The Chinese firm, the dominant e-commerce player in its country, gobbled up a 15 percent stake in Beijing Easyhome Furnishing for RMB 5.45 billion, or around $867 million, and pumped …