Toronto-based retail platform ShopThing has closed its $10 million Series A round led by Origin Ventures. The round also saw participation from Pritzker Group and Interplay Ventures.
Marking its first round of institutional funding, ShopThing intends to scale across new categories, markets, and product development. The company also plans to fuel its growth in user adoption, retail partnerships and with the content creator economy.
“Live shopping is absolutely what’s next for e-commerce, but we fundamentally believe that it will look different in the West.”
– Maggie Adhami-Boynton
Created in 2018 by CEO and co-founder Maggie Adhami-Boynton, ShopThing provides a live shopping marketplace that allows its network of shoppers to walk into stores and present a live stream to potential customers. Its platform lets shoppers create a shoppable product, showcasing a boutique’s in-store products to users that can be purchased and delivered using the in-app function.
ShopThing’s network of retail partners include Yves Saint Laurent, LVMH, Nordstrom, Jimmy Choo, Chloe, Moose Knuckles, Salvatore Ferragamo, John Varvatos, Parker NY, Stuart Weitzman, and Zadig & Voltaire.
In March last year, ShopThing launched its marketplace app, and the retail firm currently claims a customer base of more than 500,000 customers across the continent.
ShopThing claims its approach to the live shopping space is “unique and first-of-a-kind” as the company focuses on short video content instead of traditional hours-long live streams.
Livestream shopping is a current trend in Asia, most notably in China where it took off after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This form of commerce provides a space where people could watch celebrities and influencers show off products that are available for purchase with one click. McKinsey Digital reported that in 2020, two-thirds of Chinese consumers bought products via livestreams.
Karim Gillani, a general partner at Luge Capital, predicted last year in BetaKit that live shopping would become a thing in North America and Europe, citing Montréal-based Livescale as one of the companies shaping the future of live shopping experiences.
As a Canadian company, Adhami-Boynton said the company’s approach in the industry has been tailored for the North American audience. “Live shopping is absolutely what’s next for e-commerce, but we fundamentally believe that it will look different in the West,” she said.