Food, wine, fashion, & space. These 5 brands are rocking it.

Your weekly download of the major happenings in the world of eCommerce and Digital Marketing - in one quick bite.

Each week, new brands capture our attention for their innovation just as older, well-known names re-emerge with fresh plans and partnerships. Let these five companies inspire.

Rad Power Bikes gets $150 million boost 


The COVID-19 pandemic touched every industry, many for the worst. But for bicycle manufacturers and shops, they spent the best part of 2020 with ‘sold-out’ signs. People looked for alternative ways to get around, particularly in cities. This spiked the popularity of electric bike sales.

One such company, Rad Power, raised $150 million from investors, which they plan to use to double the workforce and grow internationally. The Seattle-born start-up made its brand known for its direct-to-customer approach, with electric bikes miles cheaper than its competitors. Rad Power isn’t your typical bike seller. It’s a whole new way of living.

Astra’s $2.1 billion funding to reimagine space

 

2020 wasn’t just the year of COVID-19. It was also a historic time for space, with hundreds of new small satellites in low-earth orbit. With a vision to reshape the space industry, “starting with how we get there”, Astra plans to improve life on earth from space. In December, Astra launched Rocket 3.2, which successfully made it to space and achieved orbital velocity.

Also earthed in Seattle, the start-up will be joining a “special purpose acquisition company” (SPAC). The public listing is expected to take off later this year and raise about $500 million.

ASOS buys Topshop 


In other news, back on safe ground on the luxurious high-streets, e-commerce shopping giant ASOS has bought Topshop – as well as sister labels Topman, Miss Selfridge, and HIIT. The $364 million deal settles the worries of Topshop-loving ladies. The agreement includes a further $41.4 million for their inventory.

ASOS already sells the Topshop collection on their website and attracts a similar demographic of shoppers. It’s a move that’ll undoubtedly catalogue a new chapter for Topshop, particularly given ASOS only operates online.

Vivino raises their glasses to $155 million

 

The world’s largest wine app, Vivino received $155 million in Series D funding. The Swedish-based investment firm, Kinnevik, and Sprints Capital were behind the investment (plus GP Bullhound and Creandum).

50 million wine fanatics use Vivino’s recommendation platform to discover new taste profiles and deliver straight to the door – which has been essential during ongoing lockdowns and social distancing. While offices might be abandoned, the after-work drinks are a tradition that’s survived. The app removes that ‘what wine should I try this time’ problem, allowing connoisseurs to ‘travel’ the world’s best wine regions.

Vivino has experienced an annual growth rate for the past seven years. 2020 numbers mark a 103% increase. The cash injection will go to improving core technology and AI, to further personalize the recommendations.

Biltong company, Stryve, gets beefy $170 million funding 


With a ‘move over beef jerky, we’ve got something better’ ethos, Stryve introduced Americans to a healthy alternative: biltong. The food producer is going public, in a $170 million-expected merger. The IPO has even attracted a different type of investor – the Hollywood elite, Channing Tatum and LA quarterback, Justin Herbert, who threw $42.5 million at $10 per share.

Stryve is an African process of preserving meat. The products are 100% premium-grade beef sourced from local ranchers in the United States, free from sugar, MSG, gluten, nitrates or preservatives.

Business is expected to double this year, with a 180% growth rate predicted. It’s a positive example of a brand that relies on in-person tasting, pivoting successfully. There are many more stories like it.

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CareerTu Research is a knowledge-sharing platform focused on empowering brands by providing valuable eCommerce and Digital Marketing news, insights, and trends. Follow along and subscribe to our weekly ‘Quick Bites’ where we feature innovative brand disruptors making waves in the world of eCommerce.