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Welcome to Dealboard. In this weekly feature, The Current is providing a look at the mergers, acquisitions and venture capital deals making waves in the ecommerce and consumer goods landscape.
This week, acquisitions show how Pinterest is expanding in ecommerce, DoorDash is growing internationally and UPS is adding same-day delivery options for businesses. Plus, H&M leads an investment round, and Ty Haney’s new startup receives funding.
Check out the latest:
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Pinterest makes ecommerce move with acquisition of The Yes
(Image via Pinterest)
Discovery-focused social media platform Pinterest is adding ecommerce talent and technology through the acquisition of AI fashion shopping platform The Yes.
Founded in 2018 by former StichFix exec Julie Bornstein and former Bloomreach CTO Amit Aggarwal, The Yes provided users with a personalized feed that learns their style, and curates a selection of products based on brand, style, and size. With the acquisition, Bornstein will lead a new organization dedicated to “taste-driven shopping efforts” across Pinterest, while the entire team from The Yes will join Pinterest. In turn, Pinterest will be sunsetting The Yes app.
Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, were not disclosed.
DoorDash acquires Wolt
Local commerce platform DoorDash is expanding internationally through the acquisition of Wolt Enterprises, a Helsinki, Finland-based company that specializes in delivery of items from restaurants, grocery stores and other local shops.
Following the acquisition, DoorDash will be active in 27 countries, including the United States, 23 of which are Wolt markets. While Wolt and DoorDash will retain their own apps, Wolt CEO Miki Kuusi will oversee all DoorDash operations outside the United States.
Terms of the deal, which is now closed, were not disclosed.
UPS acquires Delivery Solutions
Focused on ecommerce, Delivery Solutions provides customers with access to services that provide same-day delivery, ship-from-store and curbside pickup. Following the acquisition, Delivery Solutions will continue as an independent platform, UPS said.
Dia & Co acquires 11 Honoré
Plus-size fashion platform Dia & Co acquired luxury retailer 11 Honoré in a move that’s designed to create “the ultimate destination for shopping across styles, brands and price points in sizes 10-32,” the companies said in an announcement.
Founded in 2017, 11 Honoré carries its own private label collection, as well as brands such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Carolina Hererra, Good American and Tanya Taylor. Now, it will join Dia & Co, a platform cofounded in 2015 by Nadia Boujarwah and Lydia Gilbert that carries brands such as Madewell, Girlfriend Collective, Universal Standard and Third Love.
With the acquisition, 11 Honoré founder Patrick Herning will join the Dia & Co team. 11 Honoré will continue to operate a standalone platform until the two brands are integrated in months ahead, while its merchandise will also be available on Dia & Co.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Missguided acquired out of administration by Frasers Group
UK-based online fashion retailer Missguided was acquired out of administration by Frasers Group.
The news followed what was widely billed in the UK press as a collapse of Missguided. Post-mortems pointed to issues with the company failing to pay suppliers, and increasing competition in the fast fashion space. Under Frasers Group, which also owns Sports Direct, House of Fraser and Flannels, the company will become a standalone business.
The deal was valued at £20m in cash, the Guardian reported.
Go Global acquires Brums Milano
It follows Go Global Retail's 2021 acquisition of Janie and Jack from Gap Inc.
Going forward, the company plans to create a "global premium childrenswear platform" by combining technology, ecommerce, digital marketing, sourcing and raw material collaboration from the two brands. It will make Brums Milano a featured brand on the Janie and Jack platform, while investing in artificial intelligence and predictive analytics for Brums.
"We are excited about our first investment in Europe", said Jeff Streader, founder and managing partner of Go Global, in a statement. "We will execute the same successful playbook that we deployed at Janie and Jack by resetting the operational model and investing into the company's digital capabilities."
Nestlé acquires Brazil-based Puravida
Founded in 2015 by Flavio Passos, Puravida offers organic, natural and plant-based foods, along with clean-label and concentrated supplements. This will help Nestlé expand its portfolio in the area of health and nutrition in Brazil, which already includes oral nutritional supplements, protein powders and ready-to-drink nutritional beverages, the company said.
Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, were not disclosed.
Luxury Brands acquires Youngblood brands
Beauty company Luxury Brands announced the acquisition of two brands created by medical esthetician Pauline Youngblood: Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics and Youngblood Skin Care. With the acquisition, the brands will accelerate product development, digital marketing, advertising, and both B2B and DTC sales support.
“Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics is a brand already beloved by a cult following of celebrities and makeup artists alike,” said Luxury Brands President and CEO Michael Dodo, in a statement. “We plan to utilize the knowledge that Pauline has already implemented into Youngblood products as a medical esthetician and apply our expertise to spread her message and products on a much larger scale."
H&M leads Series B for Colorfix
The round was led by fashion retailer H&M through its investment arm H&M CO:LAB. Participants also included Bombyx Growth Fund, PDS Ventures, Regeneration.VC and SynBioVen.
Colorfix developed a dyeing process that is all biological, and it implemented the technology with initial customer RDD in Portugal. The company plans to triple the size of its team following the round as it prepares expansion in Europe and Southeast Asia. It already has several offices in the UK, and an office in Portugal.
Ty Haney’s blockchain company raises $9.8 million
TYB, the new company from Outdoor Voices founder Ty Haney, raised $9.8 million, Techcrunch reported.
The funding round included participation from existing investors Unusual Ventures, Sogal Ventures and Castle Island.
TYB is the latest venture from Haney, who played a leading role in growing the athleisure category with apparel company Outdoor Voices. TYB uses blockchain technology to help consumer brands build communities centered on customer loyalty, and offer rewards in the form of virtual coins.
FinditParts raises $30 million Series A
The minority financing was led by Crestline Investors, and is the first institutional investment for FinditParts.
Founded in 2010 by David Seewack, the platform is focused on providing a source for medium and heavy-duty truck and trailer parts. It reported 100% year-over-year revenue growth in Q1 2022. With the funding, the company will continue to advance a taxonomy for CVA parts, expand the number of parts available on the platform and enhance parts identification and visual recognition technology.
Onramp Funds raises $42 million
Ecommerce financing platform Onramp Funds raised $42 million in equity and credit, Techcrunch reported. Led by Luther King Capital Management, the funding grows working available for the Austin-based company, which provides data-driven sales forecasts and financing to ecommerce sellers.
Trending in Retail Channels
Labor disputes on the West Coast could cause further disruption heading into peak season.
When the first half of 2023 is complete, imports are expected to dip 22% below last year.
That’s according to new data from the Global Port Tracker, which is compiled monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
The decline has been building over the entire year, as imports dipped in the winter. With the spring, volume started to rebound. In April, the major ports handled 1.78 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units. That was an increase of 9.6% from March. Still it was a decline of 21.3% year over year – reflecting the record cargo hauled in over the spike in consumer demand of 2021 and the inventory glut 2022.
In 2023, consumer spending is remaining resilient with in a strong job market, despite the collision of inflation and interest rates. The economy remains different from pre-pandemic days, but shipping volumes are beginning to once again resemble the time before COVID-19.
“Economists and shipping lines increasingly wonder why the decline in container import demand is so much at odds with continuous growth in consumer demand,” said Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett, in a statement. “Import container shipments have returned the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019 and appear likely to stay there for a while.”
Retailers and logistics professionals alike are looking to the second half of the year for a potential upswing. Peak shipping season occurs in the summer, which is in preparation for peak shopping season over the holidays.
Yet disruption could occur on the West Coast if labor issues can’t be settled. This week, ports from Los Angeles to Seattle reported closures and slowdowns as ongoing union disputes boil over, CNBC reported. NRF called on the Biden administration to intervene.
“Cargo volume is lower than last year but retailers are entering the busiest shipping season of the year bringing in holiday merchandise. The last thing retailers and other shippers need is ongoing disruption at the ports,” aid NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “If labor and management can’t reach agreement and operate smoothly and efficiently, retailers will have no choice but to continue to take their cargo to East Coast and Gulf Coast gateways. We continue to urge the administration to step in and help the parties reach an agreement and end the disruptions so operations can return to normal. We’ve had enough unavoidable supply chain issues the past two years. This is not the time for one that can be avoided.”