FINTECH: Stripe cofounder and president John Collison is now the world’s youngest self-made billionaire after a $150 million funding round valued the online payments startup at $9.2 billion. The cofounders of Stripe joined the ranks of the world’s youngest billionaires after the online payments company announced a new round of funding last week that valued the company at $9.2 billion.
BRAND: But Snapchat’s unpolished and candid format also puts Chubbies, which has raised $14 million in funding, on an even playing field with competitors with bigger marketing budgets. While social media services like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram let brands publish highly produced professional video and photos, there’s no way to do that on Snapchat aside from paying for ads.
VIRTUAL RETAIL: This is a really unique way of using virtual reality to tell a story that’s pertinent to consumers. Since the technology is so new and constantly evolving, many businesses are still unsure about how to use it effectively. But this company is offering just one example of how to show their social responsibility in a really unique way. Currently, GIMME360 is raising money through a Kickstarter campaign to get the apparel brand off the ground. As of November 17, the company has more than $10,000 pledged toward its goal of $14,884. You can see the company’s full story in the video below.
MEDIA: YouTube sensation Casey Neistat last week announced he was quitting his daily video blog and now we know why: his app, Beme, has just been acquired by CNN along with its 11-person team. The deal, according to The Wall Street Journal, is valued at $25 million. CNN announced Monday that it will shut down Beme and allow Neistat to create a new project to attract his online followers to the media company. According to The New York Times, Neistat will have full creative control to build a separate company that lets the audience share “timely and topical videos” and start conversations around current events.
ECOMMERCE: Verizon is known for its diversified business model, which covers varied fields like communications, technology, wireless industry, Internet of Things (IoT) along with the media video and digital platform. Toward this end, the telco recently reported heavy eCommerce (Electronic commerce) and mCommerce (Mobilecommerce) traffic on Black Friday (Nov 25), courtesy of the promotional offers. The weekend before Thanksgiving also witnessed a moderate 15% hike in daily eCommerce traffic volumes to U.S.-based retailers compared to 2015 levels.
ANDY DUNN: While there's no indication that Bonobos is on the auction block just yet, Dunn's remarks come after a slew of e-commerce deals. Online retailers Jet.com and Trunk Club were bought by traditional retailers this year, as IPOs become a less-common exit strategy for start-ups. "The traditional retailers are seeing some softening, and I think that's because you're seeing more and more e-commerce and [mobile]-commerce taking share from traditional retail," Jeremy Liew, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners and Bonobos investor, told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" last week. "So I think we have a lot of room to run there."
ECOMMERCE: In September of 2011, Kith launched their Shopify— full disclosure, the writer is Head of Solutions Engineering at Shopify and Consigliere at Kith—store to coincide with the opening of their first retail location, and everything changed. Product releases were done at the same time, in-store and online, and customers from around the world could now buy product that was only available to locals. With exposure to a global audience, the brand exploded.
ECOMMERCE: According to the National Retail Federation, 44 percent of Americans surveyed this weekend said they shopped online during Thanksgiving weekend compared with only 40 percent who shopped in brick-and-mortar stores. Seeing where things were headed, Walmart was more aggressive than in the past on assortment and pricing leading into the holiday season. The retailer was beating Amazon on 20 percent of top-selling toys that both companies sold, and matched its prices on another 35 percent.
MEDIA: But the funding difference between left and right is striking. Last year the parent company for the Independent Journal Review, a quasi-BuzzFeed for conservatives, announced its first round of funding for $1.5 million. Mr. Klein’s firm has raised around $10 million. As a comparison, Vox has raised around $300 million to date; BuzzFeed recently announced a second $200 million investment from NBC, bringing its total to just under $500 million.
ECOMMERCE: Friday’s blockbuster e-commerce results followed a strong Thanksgiving Day when consumers purchased $1.93 billion online, an increase of 11.5% from Turkey Day in 2015, Adobe says, based on the results of hundreds of online retailer clients that use its technology. In fact, the conversion rate was higher on Thanksgiving Day than on Black Friday—3.75% to 3.04%—for e-retailer clients of personalization technology vendor Monetate Inc.
Graphic of the Week: The Rise and Fall of Nasty Gal