When it comes to investments, mergers, and acquisitions in fashion tech, the landscape is constantly evolving. As a month characterized by a suite of notable trends and events, April was no exception.
There is no question we are all familiar with PayPal
, the service that facilitates money transfers and payments online and has hosted countless retail transactions. In just Q1 2013 alone, PayPal users made almost 8 million payments a day totaling over $680 million in all. PayPal has announced the acquisition of Iron Pearl
, a company built around customer acquisition and engagement. This marks PayPal’s second acquisition of the year after acquiring Duff Research, a firm dedicated to user experience and development in the mobile app space.
Meanwhile, Asian online commerce continues to buzz with activity. Popular Chinese B2C site 360buy.com has rebranded to JD.com
and is undergoing a facelift to be more accessible to foreign investors and consumers. The site is an exceptional player in the commerce space, and is currently valued at $7.25B after numerous funding rounds – and is rumored to be potentially launching a US IPO this year.
When it comes to funding events, one major trend we’ve seen among investments has been a serious interest in the types of companies that we categorize as “tools”. Anything from video content providers for online commerce brands to big data analytics for retail is game. During our analysis of this section of monthly investments, we found a staggering fifty three percent of investments were made in tool companies, with a combined total of $100,511,275. While the big news seems focused on trendy companies and the latest social media network news, there is no doubt tool-based companies are making definite waves in the industry.
What’s even more interesting is the breakdown of the tool-based companies in April. We found that 55% were SaaS companies while the remainder were companies such as recommerce platforms or those that merged online with offline. Once only a tech term that vaguely touched the fashion world, software as a service (SaaS) is now a hot model in fashion tech. Needs for advanced tech solutions are cropping up as retail vendors look for new ways to organize and communicate order and fulfillment, as video and media content solution providers look to outsource media needs from big retailers, and countless other SaaS applications. We are confident we will continue to see upward mobility in the growth of tool-based companies in this space.
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Melissa Sulewski is Assistant to the CEO at TWF. Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.
Image via Forbes