R|T: The Retail Times – Amazon faces FTC antitrust case and free returns backlash

shipping containers
Plus: Meet the Shopify Ventures portfolio.

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Shipping container marketplace Boxhub raises $12.4 million for global expansion (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based startup Boxhub, which offers an online marketplace for shipping containers, has raised a $12.4-million Series A round.

Founded in 2017, Boxhub provides an e-commerce and logistics platform for the purchase and delivery of new and used shipping containers.

Shopify's midlife crisis: How a surprise pivot away from logistics capped the e-commerce giant's whirlwind year (INSIDER)

Shopify's abrupt shift away from logistics in early May was just the most visible peak of a mountain of intense change for the Canadian e-commerce company.

Now, after all the internal restructuring and strategy changes, Shopify's quest to redefine itself may lie in what it's worked on all along: e-commerce software.

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Amazon Is About to Face Its Biggest Challenge Yet From the FTC

Lina Khan’s Federal Trade Commission has already filed three cases against Amazon.com Inc. Now she’s gearing up for the Big One.

In the coming weeks, the agency plans to file a far-reaching antitrust suit focused on Amazon’s core online marketplace, with the main allegation expected to be that Amazon leverages its power to reward online merchants that use its logistics services and punish those who don’t.

Shopify’s venture arm unveils portfolio in new website launch (BETAKIT)

Shopify Ventures, the Canadian tech company’s venture arm, has unveiled its investment portfolio on its website launch on Wednesday.

The new website appears to be the first time that Shopify revealed its own investments. In the past, Shopify’s investments would be disclosed by the portfolio company as part of a broader funding-round announcement.

Troubled Robot Truckmaker TuSimple Says It May Sell Off U.S. Business (FORBES)

TuSimple, a leading developer of autonomous driving technology for heavy-duty trucks, is aiming to sell its U.S. business. The move to find a buyer is part of a year-long upheaval marked by management turmoil, the replacement of its board, the loss of a key partnership and accusations of improperly sharing sensitive technology with a Chinese startup.

Cart.com has $1.2B valuation after $60M Series C (TECHCRUNCH)

Cart.com, an Austin-based company providing end-to-end e-commerce services, entered unicorn territory following a $60 million Series C round of funding to push its valuation to $1.2 billion.

This round follows an undisclosed number of reported layoffs in the company at the beginning of 2023.

PitchBook analysts say 2023 VC funding is "pretty much shot," long-term recovery appears likely (BETAKIT)

As the economy has deteriorated, non-traditional investors have pulled back from the venture capital space and the IPO market has cooled.

Despite some positive signs recently indicating that the state of play is on its way toward improving, PitchBook analysts believe that it will still take some time for the overall VC market to rebound—let alone reach its previous highs.

How Amazon Is Taming Its Customers’ Returns Addiction (THE INFORMATION)

Amazon made free returns an industry standard for online shopping, then the pandemic sent return rates soaring. Now, the company is trying to tame its returns beast without sparking customer backlash.

Immigration Minister details strategy for attracting foreign tech talent, digital nomads (BETAKIT)

Canada is in a global race for the worldwide tech talent pool, according to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser. In a bid to stay ahead of competition, Fraser introduced what he called the country’s first strategy focused on attracting foreign tech workers.

Korea’s Alwayz aims to make online shopping fun again with $46M in funding (TECHCRUNCH)

Seoul-based e-commerce company Levit, an operator of the shopping app Alwayz, wants to make the shopping experience more entertaining and affordable after its $46 million Series B round.

Alwayz deviates from typical e-commerce platforms by incorporating social features like short videos and gamification into online shopping to draw customers.

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Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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