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Funding for no-code ecommerce, digital engagement ring design

This week's Dealboard has funding and M&A news from Yahoo, LVMH, boohoo and more.

people shaking hands

Welcome to Dealboard. In this weekly feature, The Current is providing a look at the mergers, acquisitions and venture capital deals making waves in ecommerce, CPG and retail.

This week, acquisition and investment deals unite leading lights in adtech, luxury jewelry and British ecommerce. Plus, startups creating new approaches to ecommerce stores, food delivery, snack bar production and engagement ring buying raise funds.

Here’s a look at this week’s deals:

Yahoo takes 25% stake in Taboola

Adtech company Taboola will become the native advertising provider across all Yahoo properties through an agreement announced Monday.

With the 30-year commercial deal, Yahoo will receive a stake of above 25% of pro forma equity in Taboola.

“Yahoo is an internet pioneer, representing one of the largest, most trusted and most sophisticated publishers in the world,” said Adam Singolda, Founder and CEO of Taboola. “Everywhere I look, I see a rocket ship growth opportunity for both of us - native, eCommerce, Video, header bidding (display) and more.

Yahoo, an internet pioneer, was taken private by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo last year. Taboola, founded in 2007, provides many of the “Around the Web" and "Recommended For You" boxes found on web-based news articles.

LVMH acquires jewlery producer

Luxury giant The LVMH Group said it acquired the Pedemonte Group, a fine jewelry producer based in Italy and France.

LVMH acquired Pedemonte from the Equinox III SLP SIF investment fund. Terms were not disclosed.

Pedemonte was created in 2020 via the merger of several production houses, and has about 350 employees. LVMH said the acquisition will allow the company to increase capacity in the watches and jewelry division for its houses, which include Bulgari, Tiffany & Co. and TAG Heuer.

Boohoo raises stake in Revolution Beauty

Revolution Beauty. (Photo by vonvix on Unsplash)

Boohoo, the UK online fashion retailer, said it increased its investment in Revolution Beauty. The company now has a direct interest of 26.47% in the beauty brand, according to a regulatory filing.

The companies already have a relationship in which Revolution Beauty products are sold through several of boohoo’s DTC brand websites, and digital department store Debenhams.

The news came on the same day that Revolution Beauty announced the appointment of Bob Holt as CEO. Previous chief Adam Minto stepped down earlier this month amid an accounting investigation, and Holt was serving as interim CEO. Check back tomorrow for more on the appointment in On the Move, The Current’s weekly hiring roundup.

Torr Foodtech raises $12M for snack bar innovation

Torr Foodtech, an Israeli startup deploying a new approach to creating snack bars by deploying pressure and ultrasonic energy instead of sugary binders to ‘weld’ natural ingredients together, has raised $12 million in a Series A round as it expands partnerships with CPG firms and gears up to launch its own snack bar line, called Presteez. Food Navigator USA has the story.

Investors include Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services and Mondelez International, according to Crunchbase.

Prado raises $5.75M for accessible meal delivery

Prado, a food-focused ecommerce and logistics platform for meal delivery, raised $5.75 million in seed funding.

The financing was led by Bonfire Ventures, with participation from Slauson & Co., January Ventures, Alumni Ventures, Bridge Investment Group and Supply Change Fund.

Prado offers a customizable toolkit aimed at serving local food and beverage businsesses that includes marketing, operations and sales solutions for both online and in-store transactions.

“Through personalized, affordable, and culturally relevant food options, we're bullish on leading the charge in transforming the health, economy and security of our nation,” said CEO Jon Carter, in a statement.

Wove raises $3.85M for custom engagement rings

people holding an engagement ring

(Photo via Wove)

Wove, an online jewelry company, raised $3.85 million in a seed round.

The financing was led by Springdale Ventures, with participation from Outlander VC, Rarebreed Ventures, Context Ventures, VEIP – a veteran entrepreneur-focused investment vehicle launched by PenFed Foundation – WPMC and Early Light Ventures.

Founded in 2021 by former Army Rangers Andrew Wolgemuth and Brian Elliott, Wove helps newly-engaged couples build replicas of engagement rings online, then delivers the genuine article to try on.

"At Wove, we listen to our clients' preferences, and are launching unique features to serve them well beyond our custom at-home try-on experience," said Elliott, in a statement. "We have successfully created a curated design process where we match couples with a world-class in-house jewelry designer, who specializes in their aesthetic, to co-design a customized ring made with high-quality diamonds and 100% sustainable materials."

​Popup raises $3.5M for no-code ecommerce stores

Popup, a no-code commerce platform, raised $3.5 million, according to Techcrunch.

The pre-seed round was led by Accel, with participation from Seedcamp, 20VC and angels including former Shopify CMO Jeff Weiser and Hopin CEO Johnny Boufarhat.

Founded in 2021 by Shopify alums Corey Holmes and Matteo Grassi, Popup aims to make building an ecommerce store and personalized shopping experiences like landing pages and ads a matter of “drag and drop” for entrepreneurs. Available in beta, the startup expects to launch the platform in general release in 2023.

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Shipt launches ecommerce accelerator for local retailers

LadderUp is aiming for 50% LGBTQ+ and BIPOC participation. Shopify will provide access to its platform.

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LadderUp will include an 8-week ecommerce course. (Courtesy photo)

Shipt is launching a new accelerator program designed to provide ecommerce tools for local retailers.Called LadderUp, the program is centered on equity. Target-owned delivery owned Shipt said conversations with business owners have revealed that local entrepreneurs face “gaps” in technology, but they also want to participate in ecommerce platforms. The COVID-19 pandemic was especially difficult for Black business owners, who saw earnings drop between 11-28% in 2019-2020, as compared to the earnings decrease of 5-17% for the rest of the population.

With the new program, the company’s goal is to reach at least 50% LGBTQ+ and BIPOC participation in the program.

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