Reading List - Week of September 5
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In this weeks reading list of all the best eCommerce and technology articles SHOES.COM has appointed a new president after reports of company-wide layoffs. Allbirds, an eco-friendly shoe that the tech folks in the valley are loving has raised a round of $7.25 Million. Shopify's accelerator program has expanded into four new cities hoping to excite more eCommerce entrepreneurs. Finalists have been named for the 2016 Canada Post E-commerce Innovation Awards. Signifyd, an anti-chargeback software has raised $19 million to help retailers with fraud protection. For full stories read on.
SHOES.COM Appoints New President After Reports Of Company-Wide Layoffs
In a move to take the company through the next phase of growth, eCommerce giant SHOES.COM has appointed a new president, Bradley Wilson. “I am thrilled to lock arms with the forward-thinking team that’s been squarely focused on marrying technology and commerce. There is considerable opportunity ahead to provide the SHOES.COM customers with an elevated and unique shopping experience. I have jumped in, feet first.” stated Wilson. The decision to appoint a new president comes after a slew of recent layoffs, ones that have many former employees fuming on Glassdoor. But Wilson has an impressive background having worked in roles such as General Manager at Expedia, Chief Marketing Officer at Travelocity and senior management positions at Nutrisystem and Match.com. Roger Hardy, CEO and chairman of the board of directors at SHOES.COM is enthusiastic about bringing Wilson on board stating “Bradley has an expansive understanding of the needs of our customer and will continue to look for innovative ways to serve them and our vendor community. We are thrilled to have him take the helm of SHOES.COM and lead us through the next stage of growth.”
Allbirds Raises $7.25 Million, Unveils New Shoe Colors
Apparently the tech community in San Francisco has adopted the eco-friendly shoes which are made from merino wool as their kicks of choice. VC’s, entrepreneurs, and TechCrunch team members are all amongst those who are fans of the shoes. But hoping to be more than a passing trend, Allbirds has raised $7.25 million in addition to their seed round led by Maveron. Allbirds first caught Dan Levitan’s–managing partner at Maveron–attention after leaders at other eCommerce brands like Warby Parker and Harry’s brought it to his attention. Levitan stated he likes “the product and the commitment to building a brand that sustains and endures around comfort.” This is exactly in line with what the company prides itself on. Tim Brown, co-founder and co-CEO says they don’t think of themselves as a fashion brand but aim to produce comfortable, functional, and simple footwear. With the funds it looks as though the brand is going to expand as they have at least three more shoes in the works.
Shopify Expands Accelerator to NYC, London, Montreal, Austin
Earlier this week eCommerce platform Shopify announced its expanding into four new cities and now has an official name: the Shopify Partner Accelerator. The program started as a way for entrepreneurs to brainstorm, collaborate, and create relationships with other like-minded hustlers. Harley Finkelstein, COO, backs this up by stating “We know the problems that prevent freelancers from getting their business off the ground...That’s why we’re creating a freelancer studio to help launch successful client-based businesses in the ecommerce space.” The three month accelerator is now available to attend in New York, Montreal, London and Austin and will encourage individuals within the eCommerce space to come together, work on their Shopify projects, and increase their entrepreneurial skills faster than they would on their own. The SaaS based platform is currently accepting applicants for each location. Applicants accepted into the accelerator will receive mentorship, access to hands-on workshops, meet Shopify leadership, development teams and Shopify Experts.
Finalists Named in the 2016 Canada Post E-commerce Innovation Awards
Source: Morning Star
In it’s fifth year now, Canada Post is gearing up for their annual eCommerce Innovation Awards. The categories includes excellence in eCommerce, customer engagement, and omni-channel strategies. A gala event will be held September 22 where winners will be announced. The event will be hosted by TSN broadcaster James Duthie. Prizes include over $100,000 in free shipping and incredible marketing packages. Some of the big names included in this years awards include: Frank and Oak, SHOES.com, MEC, and Best Buy Canada.
Signifyd Raises $19 Million to Help With Online Fraud Protection
The San Jose-based company has raised $19 million in financing for its fraud protection and includes investors Menlo Ventures, TriplePoint Capital, and American Express Ventures.Chargebacks are an online retailer's worst nightmare. They’re, in short, demands made by credit card providers stating the merchant must reimburse their customer funds, due to a fraudulent transaction. But there’s good news for merchants yet. Signifyd has built technology that can assess the risk of a transaction before the card is processed. And because of their financial guarantee, they’ve already nailed down eCommerce clients like Jet.com, Lacoste, and Peet’s coffee. CEO Raj Ramanad told TechCrunch Signify uses thousands of different data points to make decisions so if they make a mistake they will cover the chargeback 100%. The pricing is a 3 tier system with their middle planning charging retailers 1% per transaction, which is menial considering merchants wind up declining about 3-5% of clean revenue when they’re not able to tell if a purchase is linked to criminal activity. Tim Eades, CEO of vArmour, who currently holds a board position at Signfiyd has high hopes for the company as he believes it provides a quicker solution than the competition. To date, Signifyd has raised over $40 Million through investors such as Data Collective and Andreessen Horowitz.