Weekly eCommerce Reading List: Dec 12 - 16

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Alicia Doiron

This week in the world of technology and eCommerce, there are 7 tech unicorns that are being predicted to IPO 2017 after an extremely uneventful 2016. Kreditech added a new investor to their impressive roster, Japanese eCommerce giant Rakuten. Are you a fan of the employee tell all site Glassdoor? Looking for job opportunities in Canada? Check out their list of the top Canadian companies to work for. One our eCommerce platform partners, Shopify, made the cut. Top eCommerce and now omni-channel brand, Warby Parker, is officially opening its second brick-and-mortar retail space this weekend. And everyone's favourite U.S. president elect, Donald Trump, sat down with Silicon Valley heavyweights earlier this week.

7 Tech Unicorns Expected to IPO in the New Year


The amount of IPOs that happened in 2016 was mediocre at best but experts believe that 2017 is going to look very interesting. This optimistic outlook is in part due to the fact that the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. election has died down a bit. Without further adeui, the following “decacorns”, a business valued at tens of billions of dollars, are predicted to IPO. Snap, the Californian owner of Snapchat could IPO in March at a valuation of over $20billion which would make it the biggest IPO since chinese eCommerce leader Alibaba Group Holding went public at a $170.9 billion IPO. AirBnB’s current valuation sits $30 billion and is a favourite on everyone’s radar. Uber raised $3.5 billion in June from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and with a valuation of $62.5 billion, they’re currently the most promising capital-backed business in the world. Peter Thiel, one of Trump’s biggest Silicon Valley supporters during the 2017 U.S election, and Joe Lonsdale’s secretive company Planatir which helps government agencies hunt down terrorists and reveal financial fraud is in the running. The company raised $880 million in funding last year and sits at a valuation of $20 billion. Vice Media which covers current affairs targeted at the millennial generation is valued at $4 billion. Spotify, the huge music streaming company has an impressive 100 million users in 60 markets and finally there’s Elevate Credit, the online vendor has already filed with the SEC for its IPO.

Kreditech Raises $10.4 Million From New Investor, Rakuten.

Source: TechCrunch

Kreditech is an online lender that builds credit histories based on big data analytics. It’s currently backed by Peter Thiel, Blumberg and World Bank’s IFC. Earlier this week Kreditech announced funding for $10.4 million by a new investor from Japan, eCommerce giant Rakuten. The investment is one of the biggest Rakuten has ever made and it’s not hard to see why. TechCrunch reports that Kreditechs valuation is currently around $300 million euros and is continuing to rise.“Rakuten’s vision for global innovation is about contributing to society through cutting edge technology and entrepreneurship. We are excited about Kreditech because of its unique model of individual empowerment through access to credit across various international markets,” said Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, Managing Partner of the Rakuten FinTech Fund, in a statement. “Kreditech is already widely recognized for its distinctive big-data-driven credit model and tech expertise. Rakuten’s investment will allow them to further expand their unique offering.” In total, Kreditech has raised around 153 million euros in equity financing.

Looking For Canadian Employment Opportunity in the eCommerce Space? Try Shopify.

Source: BetaKit

Glass door recently released its Employers’ Choice Awards for Canada which highlights the 25 best places to work in 2017 based off employee reviews. Who came out on top? One of our favourite eCommerce platforms to work with, Shopify. Other companies that topped this year’s list include Ceridian, ATB Financial, Salesforce and Cisco Systems.“Company culture and the employee experience are critical considerations for job seekers everywhere when deciding where to work. To help, the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards recognize companies that truly stand out as Best Places to Work because they’re purely determined by the authentic voice of those who really know a company best – the employees,” said Robert Hohman, Glassdoor CEO and co-founder. “Employers where employees love to work continue to prove that they have a recruiting and business performance edge. We’re proud to celebrate the 2017 Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards winners in earning this incredible achievement.” So how does Glassdoor determine where the best place to work at is? Their Employee Choice Awards are based on an algorithm that looks at the quantity, quality, and consistency of Glassdoor-approved company reviews shared by Canadian based employees between November 2, 2015 and October 30, 2016. And although “The Jibe” didn’t make the list, we still think we’re a pretty cool company to work for.

Top eCommerce Brand, Warby Parker, Opens 2nd Canadian Store

Source: Retail-Insider

The innovative eCommerce business that started opening brick-and-mortar shops after the overwhelming success of their online store just keeps growing. The Omnichannel retailer is opening its 2nd Canadian location in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre on Saturday, December 17. In addition, Warby Parker is expecting more stores to follow although the company hasn’t confirmed any new locations. The competitive glasses/frame retailer seems to have it’s eyes on being the #1 glasses/frame retailer in Canada although they’ve got some stiff competition from Clearly Contacts and Australia’s Bailey Nelson whom began opening up Canadian stores in the summer of 2014.

President Elect Donald Trump Meets with Silicon Valley Executive

Source: Reuters

Perhaps one of the biggest tech stories this week is this one. After a lot of friction and disagreement during the U.S presidential election campaign, Donald Trump met with some of the Silicon Valley elite this week to discuss economic issues such as job creation, lowering taxes and trade dynamics with China. Among those sitting at the proverbial round table joining in on the conversation included Apple Inc's Tim Cook, Facebook Inc's Sheryl Sandberg and Tesla Motors Inc's Elon Musk. Trump, decidedly playing nice, stated "There's nobody like the people in this room, and anything we can do to help this go along we're going to do that for you..You call my people, you call me, it doesn't make any difference. We have no formal chain of command." further adding "We're going to make fair trade deals. We're going to make it a lot easier for you to trade across borders."