NTWRK, a video shopping app that helped popularize the idea of live trading in the United States, today announced it has closed a new $ 50 million financing led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and the global group of luxury Kering, luxury owners brands Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and others. The company has worked to capitalize on the growing interest in live commerce and creator content, and turned to live virtual events and festivals as COVID-19 ravaged the United States l ‘last year. Now he says he will invest to continue growing and working to establish a more global footprint.
Other participants in the new cycle include LionTree Partners and Tenere Capital. They join the company’s previous backers: Main Street Advisors (whose investors include Jimmy Iovine, Drake and LeBron James), Live Nation, Foot Locker and others. Allison Berardo, vice president of Growth Equity at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, will join NTWRK’s board of directors.
Aimed at a younger Gen Z and Millennial consumer customer base, NTWRK offers tools that allow creators to interact with viewers and sell products in real time, in what’s known as a QVC mix, Twitter and Twitch. The experience combines commerce and entertainment, as viewers watch and chat with other viewers and hosts in real time, as they shop for street clothes, shoes, collectibles, and other items. The company also created their own exclusive content where they featured hosts like Billie Eilish, Juice WRLD, DJ Khaled, Odell Beckham Jr., Eddie Huang, Blake Griffin, Alexander Wang, FaZe Clan, Nadeshot, Jonah Hill, Gary Vee, A $ AP Ferg, Wu-Tang Clan, Doja Cat and others. (He even invested in FaZe Clan last year, let’s note.)
Its business model goes beyond simply offering live video shopping that you can listen to anytime, as it also regularly features product drops that help build anticipation and excitement. This type of feature is only now making its way to the biggest social media platforms, like Instagram, which introduced drops this spring.
NTWRK has also embraced live events and virtual festivals as another way to engage audiences. Last year, for example, it aired TRANSFER, which featured 30 brands and artists, panels, interviews, DJ sets and musical performances. He also organized BEYOND THE STREETS, a virtual art fair that attracted over 250,000 participants. Earlier this year, he hosted a two-day toy and collectibles festival, Unpacked, as the first in a list of digital events that then unfolded throughout the year, including Surface party, a virtual food festival and a virtual housewares festival. He is now preparing for the return of its flagship event, TRANSFER.
This summer, NTWRK also kissed the world of digital goods with the launch of NTWRK NFT, its own unique crypto art store from creators such as BADBOI, Imaginary Foundation, MILKMAN, Young & Sick, Fafi, KidEight, MGOGLKTKO and Eddie Gangland.
Online shopping is already a popular activity overseas, but continues to gain traction here in the United States. The company, announcing its news today, noted that live shopping in China reached $ 150 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $ 300 billion this year. But in the United States, it is expected to reach $ 11 billion by the end of 2021 and $ 25 billion by 2025, leaving plenty of room for growth.
“Our vision is to become the largest and most culturally relevant live shopping marketplace for Gen Z and Millennial audiences who are obsessed with pop culture,” said Aaron Levant, CEO of NTWRK, in a statement. “It’s exciting for NTWRK to have Goldman Sachs and Kering for the future of online shopping.”
NTWRK had previously raised $ 10 million from Series A, according to Crunchbase The data.