Marketing

New funding for DTC brands founded by Venus Williams, YouTube star Emma Chamberlain

This week's Dealboard has a look at investment and M&A news from eBay, Ted Baker, Northbeam and more.

people shaking hands

(Illustration by The Current)

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, DTC brands founded by stars of courts and Shorts raise investment, Ted Baker finds a suitor and eBay adds to its trading card collection of services. Plus, marketing intelligence platform Northbeam raises a Series A, and GrubMarket acquires a pair of enterprise software firms.

Check out the latest deal news below:

Funding

The investor lineup for Happy Viking. (Courtesy photo)

Happy Viking, the plant-based superfood nutrition company cofounded by tennis champion Venus Williams and Dyla Brands CEO Neel Prekumar, closed on $2 million in new investment. Williams was joined by a slate of prominent professional athlete investors in the round, including Serena Williams, Kevin Durant & Rich Kleiman's 35V, Peloton Vice President of Fitness Programming Robin Arzón, professional golfer Michelle Wie West, soccer icon Megan Rapinoe, tennis star Reilly Opelka, and basketball stars Isaiah Hartenstein and Collin Sexton. Created by Venus Williams after she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2011, Happy Viking offers complete-meal shakes.

Bravo Sierra, a men’s personal care company that develops products with and for a community from the US military, raised $17 million in a Series B round. Led by The Merchant Club, the round included participation from Capstar Ventures, Redo Ventures, AF Ventures and Mousse Partners. Founded in 2019 with a deodorant that became popular on Amazon, Bravo Sierra is preparing to launch across all Walmart stores and channels in the US.

Northbeam, a marketing intelligence platform for DTC and ecommerce brands, raised $15 million in a Series A round led by Silversmith Capital Partners. Northbeam is designed to help companies that are running marketing campaigns across multiple channels determine return on investment. It is among solutions that have gained traction in the fallout from Apple’s App Tracking Transparency and rising customer acquisition costs. With 27x year-over-year revenue growth, the company said it works with brands including PetMeds, The Ridge, Jones Road Beauty, Truff Vessi and Hexclad, among others.

Chamberlain Coffee, the coffee brand founded by prominent YouTuber Emma Chamberlain, raised $7 million in a Series A funding round. The financing was led by Blazar Capital, Ole & Steen / Lagkagehuset cofounders Ole Kristoffersen and Steen Skallebaek, GRIN founder Brandon Brown, DTC luminary Nik Sharma and beverage industry expert Ken Sadowsky. Launched as a DTC brand, Chamberlain Coffee is now available through channels including grocers like Erewhon and Sprouts, as well as ecommerce platforms like Amazon and instant delivery platform Gopuff.

Boohoo, the UK online fashion retailer, made a strategic investment in Revolution Beauty, acquiring a 7.1% stake in the health and beauty brand. Revolution Beauty products were already sold through Boohoo’s direct-to-consumer channels and digital department store. “The investment reflects boohoo's belief in the growth potential of Revolution Beauty and it intends to be a supportive stakeholder and long-term partner,” Boohoo wrote in a filing.

HyperTrack, an API platform for logistics, raised $25 million in a Series A funding round led by WestBridge Capital and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners. The company also announced the release of BuilderX, a platform which provides developer tools to build apps for delivery functions such as on-demand order planning, assignment and tracking. The tools can extend these capabilities across mobile, maps and cloud.

Carmigo, an automotive marketplace connecting dealers and consumers in a one-day auction format, raised $7 million in a round led by Southern Bancorp in partnership with Advantage Capital. Tupelo, Mississippi-based Carmigo plans to grow its team following the round.

Highbeam, a neobank for ecommerce brand entrepreneurs, raised $7 million in seed funding, Techcrunch reported. The round was led by FirstMark and Mayfield, with participation from individuals. The company plans to use the funding to improve the product and expand in go-to-market and sales. Highbeam provides a "single view" into finances for ecommerce brands, while assisting with credit and offering data analysis. Following the funding round, it is looking to improve the product and expand in go-to-market.

Ryan Cohen, the founder of Chewy, sold his stake in Bed Bath & Beyond. Through his firm RC Ventures, Cohen revealed a stake in the retailer earlier this year. He then affected leadership moves including the replacement of the company's CEO and several board members. Bed Bath and Beyond was among the companies at the center of a meme stock rally this month. Shares of the company were up more than 200% in August as of Thursday’s close, according to CNBC. Meanwhile, on Monday, S&P Global downgraded its credit rating for the company, citing "mounting challenges, including very poor sales performance, deteriorating liquidity, and looming maturities." S&P added: "We believe macro conditions are worsening and prospects for home goods sales continue to deteriorate."

Just Eat Takeaway, the parent of several food delivery companies around the globe, sold a stake in iFood, a Brazilian online food ordering and delivery platform. The 33% stake was sold to an affiliate of Dutch multinational Prosus for a cash consideration totaling up to €1.8 billion – representing an equity multiple over five times the investments made in iFood to date.

Saks.com, the luxury ecommerce platform, said it raised the borrowing capacity of two loans: A revolving credit facility was increased from $350 million to $450 million, and a senior secured term loan facility was increased from $115 million to $175 million. Saks, which became a standalone ecommerce business when it was split off from Saks stores last year by owner HBC, said the increased borrowing capacity will be used "to help fund the company’s working capital needs and will be used for general corporate purposes."

Mergers and acquisitions

person holding yu gi oh trading card

eBay acquired trading card platform TCGPlayer. (Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

eBay is set to acquire collectible card game marketplace TCGplayer for $295 million, the companies said Monday. With the deal eBay will add a leader in trading cards with more than 600 employees as it looks to expand offerings in collectibles. Along with expanding eBay's assortment, TCGplayer has also built inventory management tools and hardware like robotic sorting machines.

Authentic Brands Group, the parent company of Reebok and Forever 21, reached a deal to acquire British fashion retailer Ted Baker for about $254 million. The acquisition price was an 18% premium over the closing share price of Ted Baker on August 15. Going forward, ABG plans to grow Ted Baker in North America. It also plans to turn the retailer into a holding company, with one or more firms operating its in-person retail, ecommerce and wholesale operations, Footwear News reported. Ted Baker, which has nearly 400 retail stores, had been the subject of multiple buyout proposals in 2022.

Walmart will acquire gig worker management company Delivery Drivers Inc., the company that developed the retailer’s Spark Driver platform, according to Business Insider. Spark manages delivery from Walmart, as well a white label service for other retailers. It is now the largest delivery service provider within Walmart, which had relied on a host of partnerships. The acquisition comes as Walmart is set to end its partnership with DoorDash.

Pattern, an ecommerce acceleration firm, acquired influencer marketing platform Current. With the deal, Current's capabilities will be offered as part of Pattern, which is intent on helping brands drive traffic to DTC websites, marketplaces and other channels to increase the likelihood of conversion. Current's platform includes tools to help brands build ambassador programs, create content, measure impact of influencer programs and manage payouts. Terms were not disclosed.

GrubMarket, the San Francisco-based food tech company acquired a pair of enterprise software companies focused on the food supply chain: Frantoni Corporation, which makes software used by many wholesalers in New York; and Kansas-based Granite State Software, which brings customer relationships in the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast US. Both companies will remain under existing management, while integrating with Orders IO, which is GrubMarket’s ecommerce app.

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