Livestream shopping app sune aims to provide 'joyful' experience
sune is backed by QVC owner Qurate Retail Group.
sune is backed by QVC owner Qurate Retail Group.
The rise of TikTok and debate over whether livestreaming will succeed in the U.S. can bring heated opinions in ecommerce.
But look at the actual shopping experiences involved in each of these elements, and you’ll find something that’s a bit more uplifting. A fledgling group of apps are leveraging content and a penchant for social media to create a more engaging and fun online shopping experience.
Now, a new app backed by QVC parent company Qurate Retail Group is entering the fray.
Sune is launching with an aim to provide educating and entertaining videos and livestreams that inspire shopping.
The goal is to harness video content that allows makers, creators and founders to tell their story to audiences. In turn, consumers will be able to purchase products directly from a feed. It’s all designed to provide a form of “window shopping” via ecommerce.
"Unlike other shopping apps, sune's mission is to provide a joyful, inspirational, and relaxing experience, where users can easily connect and directly engage with remarkable 'under-discovered' products from new and emerging brands, and ultimately witness entertaining content based on their personal shopping preferences," said Brian Beitler, Founder of sune and General Manager of Live Shop Ventures LLC, in a statement. "Our goal, as the beta version of sune evolves, is to elevate mission-driven brands to share their stories and products, while offering new ways for the younger generations to shop by leveraging live and live-like video commerce."
In the coming months, the app will introduce creators and brands that it says are undiscovered in currently-used shopping platforms. Additionally, sune will feature a calendar of live product drops.
Here’s how the experience will look for each constituency:
Users will have a customized experience to their preferences and purchase history, including personalized recommendations and filters. The app will aim to provide discovery and inspiration, then provide direct shopping.
Creators, brand founders, hosts – called "sunesetters” – and influencers will have opportunities to build authentic connections, as well as improve discovery and engagement.
Sellers will have access to tools that help to manage their assortment, inventory, pricing, and shipping costs, while maintaining full control over their storefronts, the app said.
Brands will be able to access proprietary in-house studio software, remote co-hosting and guidance on video creation.
What it means for ecommerce: A beta launch likely won't settle any debates about livestreaming's viability in the West, but at a time when TikTok is facing calls for a ban, it shows that the discovery-focused, personalized, video-based style that it brought to the user experience is likely going to be here to stay.
Dealboard has funding and M&A updates from ecommerce aggregators and forecasting software.
This week, the aggregator space is active with M&A, IKEA is ready to roll out newly-purchased warehouse management software and Authentic Brands Group acquired a boot icon. Plus, there’s new investment to report for YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlain’s coffee brand and retail forecasting.
Here’s a look at the latest deals:
Chamberlain Coffee, the consumer brand founded by YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlain, raised $7 million in new funding.
The financing included backing from existing investors including Blazar Capital, Chamberlain and United Talent Agency. New investors include Volition Capital, Electric Feel Ventures, L.A. Libations and Noah Bremen, founder of PLTFRM.
The new funding follows the launch of a Ready-to-Drink (RTD) product and coffee pods. Previously, the brand raised a Series A in August 2022.
"Creating a uniquely inviting coffee brand has been my dream for so long now, and having key investors back us allows us to build Chamberlain Coffee in ways that feel fresh and exciting,” said Chamberlain, in a statement. “There are so many products I am eager to develop and projects I'm excited to get working on. With such an incredible team and group of investors I am more excited than ever to see what the future holds for Chamberlain Coffee."
Impact Analytics, a software company for retail supply chain and merchandise planning, raised new funding from Vistara Growth.
The new investment, the amount of which was not disclosed, comes after Impact raised funding in February 2021 and October 2022 from Argentum.
The funding will help Impact Analytics further develop its Impact Analytics SmartSuite product portfolio, which is designed to help optimize forecasting, merchandising and end-to-end lifecycle pricing. Rather than the traditional forecasting approach of basing decisions on the preceding year, Impact Analytics applies a model that includes 150 variables from internal and external sources, while combining recency and history. Clients include BJ's Wholesale Club, Dick's Sporting Goods, Puma and Tapestry.
Selva Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on consumer brands that promote healthier living, closed its second fund at $34 million, TechCrunch reported.
With the new funding, Selva will invest in brands across categories including health, wellness, beauty and personal care. The fund expects to write checks of $1-2 million in seed and Series A startups, while assisting in areas like finance, operations and retail partnerships.
Backers of the second fund include Unilever Ventures, PagsGroup and Obelysk.
Nautica and Forever 21 owner Authentic Brands Group acquired the intellectual property of Hunter, a 160-year-old British outdoor lifestyle brand known for its Wellington boots.
With the deal, ABG appointed longtime partners Batra Group and Marc Fisher to execute retail and ecommerce operations, as well as continue to expand the brand in the UK and U.S., respectively.
“At the intersection of fashion and outdoor, Hunter introduces another elevated global brand to Authentic’s diverse Lifestyle portfolio,” said Authentic CEO Jamie Salter, in a statement.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The investment arm of IKEA parent Ingka Group acquired the warehouse management software platform Made4Net.
As a result of the deal, Made4Net’s software will be deployed across IKEA’s 482 stores and fulfillment centers. Made4Net will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Ingka, with a headquarters in New Jersey. CEO Duff Davidson will remain at the helm of the company.
“Our business currently requires a better fulfillment operations system with more accurate data that better supports handling for our customers,” said Tolga Öncu, head of retail at Ingka Group, in a statement. “Our goal is to become leaders of life at home, serving more people in an omnichannel reality, whenever and however customers choose to meet us.”
European ecommerce aggregator SellerX acquired Elevate Brands, a U.S.-based aggregator.
The combined companies will be known as SellerX Group. It will comprise a portfolio that includes 80 Amazon-native private label consumer brands in categories including sports and outdoors, home, mobile accessories, pets and consumables. The portfolio will span over 40,000 products.
With the deal, SellerX Co-CEOs Philipp Triebel and Malte Horeyseck will lead SellerX Group, while Elevate Brands cofounders Ryan Gnesin, Jeremy Bell and Robert Bell will remain in key leadership positions.
“This acquisition combines our know-how and diversified portfolios of strong brands with a market-leading technology platform and strong operational infrastructure,” said Triebel, in a statement. “By leveraging our combined strengths, I am convinced we are well-positioned to drive further consolidation in the industry.”
Ecommerce aggregator Society Brands acquired Wolf Tactical, a tactical gear company.
Founded in 2017 by Tim Wu, Wolf Tactical makes products including DC belts, range belts to weighted vest and tactical backpacks.
"I started Wolf Tactical by myself as a side hustle with very limited knowledge of business and entrepreneurship. A combination of hard work and relentless learning allowed me to build it into a multi-million-dollar business," said Wu who will remain as brand president, in a statement. "With the help of Society Brands, I have access to untapped potential that I would not be able to achieve by myself.”