The Secrets of Bezos, Shoprunner gets funding from Alibaba, Flipkart raises more capital, Google being investigated in Brazil and Zulily wants to IPO
Readers – don’t stress this is the 10 ecommerce stories for the week of 10 October just with some changes. Moving forward the week ending post will contain the headline stories in the title as the old title was not doing it for me.
We had a bumper week of ecommerce news – Amazon’s secret sauce got into the public eye for the first time. I for one cannot wait for Brad Stone’s book on Amazon. I have a feeling it will become mandatory reading for any ecommerce executive who wants to understand Amazon’s business. I read One Click – the last book on Amazon and felt it was a regurgitation of known news. I think anyone could have guessed that the difference maker at Amazon is its founder Jeff P Bezos. There are 3 people in the ecommerce industry that I view in the same sentence as Bezos – obviously Bezos as the father of ecommerce, Jack Ma from Alibaba whom created a juggernaut. Lastly, the chairman of Naspers Koos Bekker is also in this conversation. All 3 are visionaries, skate where the puck is going to be and speak very seldom to the press. When the speak to the press they always mention the core of their business as the driver of their thinking. I will be tackling this topic in some more depth in the coming months..
The Story of the week for me is ShopRunner raising $200 million which was lead by Alibaba. It is becoming clear that same day / 2 day shipping business is now where every ecommerce business in North America wants to be in. Amazon started the arms race but ShopRunner is a big story. Why? One – Alibaba leading the round of an potential bolt on is new (I think we will see this occurring a bit more until Alibaba does their IPO). Secondly, ShopRunner is part of the Kynetic stable which is a business I keep reading about. Kynetic was formed by Michael Rubin when eBay acquired GSI commerce and then they spun Fanatics, ShopRunner and Rue La La off into a new entity (Kynetic). ShopRunner is lead by Scott Thompson who was Yahoo!’s CEO until his qualifications got questions. Thompson is playing coy about what the funding will be used for but I think it could be a variety of things (international, additional partners etc).
Flipkart raised an additional $160 million for logistics and investment into payments and ebooks. I have seen this before and the Flipkart story is a beginning to a long journey. A few things stood out for me – only one existing investor took part in this round (Tiger Global Management) and that the round in total was $360 million. That makes the total investment into Flipkart a giant $550 million.