“Recession-proof” Iced Tea
When Everyone’s a Creator. The creator economy heats up with Shopify’s acquisition of influencer marketing management platform, Dovetale. Courting a content creator, and focusing in on Curated Commerce, Dovetale helps to round out the Shopify offering in a world where transactions are happening off of Shopify-operated frontends.
Editor’s note: Prior to the acquisition, Dovetale had under 1,000 followers on Twitter, and less than $500k raised in outside capital (according to Crunchbase). Competitors Hashtagpaid and Grin, while top of mind, have raised substantial amounts of capital. Grin, pushing an $800M valuation, and Hashtagpaid, which raised a $15M Series B. Both took capital in 2021, at the height of SaaS valuations. Contrast this with Dovetale, a relatively unknown player, and the Shopify M&A strategy becomes apparent.
Shopify this week also announced a proposed 10-to-1 stock split, and an increase of majority control for CEO, Tobi Lutke.
You Wouldn’t Download a Plant, Would You? Giving us 1990’s Napster-era kids a bit of a nostalgia trip, Twitter user @VoteMissy snapped a shot of a garden department, apparently run by a narc, who is banning the practice of taking fallen leaves from succulents home with you to plant and propagate. They even laminated the sign, y’all.
More Sights & Sounds.
Walmart snipes a CFO from Paypal, while Lowes loses its CFO to Pfizer. NFT candles make us wonder what the metaverse smells like. Radisson launches a hotel redesign concept with built in "content creator" suites. Moot raised $18M and we’re not sure what it even does besides throw shade at Shopify? And Cash is the eponymously-named merch collection (which is very good, by the way) by the company formerly called Square’s Cash App.
Certified Previously Butt-sweat-in. Resale continues to heat up for DTC with the launch of Lululemon’s new buyback program. If you’ve ever wanted a pair of Lululemon leggings for a little less moolah, this is for you. If you’ve ever wanted to buy a pair of pants that someone else’s butt has sweat in prior to your owning them, this is also for you, too.
She-in? Into fast fashion. Shein is looking to raise $1B in funding at a $100B valuation. The #2 online retailer is taking TikTok by storm, and upsetting the prior supposed truism that Gen Z cares more than other generations about environmental and social causes. Apparently, when it comes to the creator economy, follower count, and looking fly as hell, those truisms fall apart.
Editor’s note: there’s a brilliant report, built by our partners at Rightpoint, that covers the growth of app-based retailers, one of which is Shein. The thesis: Shein is creating consumer expectations and experiences that will inform future B2B strategies. You can download that report without a gate over here.
Inflation Shminflation. One way to show topline growth? Let inflation do the heavy lifting. Despite concerns on the directionality of the economy, LVMH posts a Q1 net gain of 29%. That puts it darned close to “growth stock” territory.
Bland AF. Giving us strong Emily Zugay vibes, the new Baskin and Robbins rebrand is millennial catnip: serif font, millennial pink. But none of the fun. Does B+R have almond or oat milk ice cream?
Yelp launches sustainability filters. Tapping into the deeply-held social and environmental conscientiousness that a typical Karen on Yelp has, the local ratings and reviews app has launched filters that allow one to sort and search by sustainability factors, including “Has EV Charging” and “provides reusable tableware”.
More Palate News.
The Dollar Store is no longer $1, but Arizona tea still makes money at just 99 cents. For now. And Krispy Kreme launches a “stabledough” — a donut offering that is pegged to the price of the national average of gasoline.
Russia faces a brain drain. As sanctions tighten around Russia, technology workers are rapidly fleeing the country seeking work — and a new life — elsewhere. This piece by the NY Times estimates that between 50,000 and 70,000 tech workers have already left Russia, and as many as 100,000 more could be departing soon.
Editor’s note: as we wrote in The Senses from February 18, “The Giffen Goods Gotcha”, a threat to tech valuations and salaries would create an environment for workers to leave for other industries. While we assumed this would be SaaS-led towards Web3, leaving mainland Russia for other countries provides the same kind of incentive. Lower the risk of devalued labor and increase opportunity by changing sectors, or changing nationalities.