R|T: The Retail Times – Shein seeks China’s green light to IPO

Plus: Shares drop after Lightspeed beats Q3 guidance and Shopify hikes prices.

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Shein seeks Chinese regulators’ tacit approval for US public offering

Online fast-fashion giant Shein, which has gone to great lengths to separate itself from its Chinese roots, has now found itself having to return to Beijing to seek authorities’ tacit approval for its blockbuster overseas initial public offering plan.

The Information also reports: Shein’s internal legal ranks are going through a change in leadership, with Shein’s top U.S. lawyer, Valerie Ho, departing the company. 

Ho’s main responsibilities included work on trademark and copyright lawsuits filed against Shein in recent months by high-profile brands like Teva parent company Deckers, the person said, as well as legal and compliance work related to Shein’s IPO preparations. 

(Financial Times)


GoDaddy’s all-in-one commerce platform has the lowest transaction fees in the industry.

Canadian businesses can now accept payments online and in-person while saving 15 per cent on card processing fees with GoDaddy Payments. The new commerce platform offers businesses a way to easily sell anywhere, save on fees, and manage transactions from one dashboard.

Backed by the industry’s lowest rates* compared to other leading providers, currently at 2.3% + 0 cents per in-person and 2.7% + 0 cents per online transaction, GoDaddy’s commerce solution is for businesses that are looking to save time and money in 2024.

Businesses can sign up for GoDaddy Payments within minutes and accept all major credit cards, with no long-term contracts, no monthly minimums, and no hidden fees. 

*Currently the lowest pricing compared to leading providers Square, Stripe, and Shopify for Canadian ecommerce, in-person, and keyed-in transactions.

Lightspeed exceeds fiscal Q3 revenue, profitability targets but company’s shares still slide

Montréal-based Lightspeed Commerce beat its previous revenue and loss-cutting forecasts during the fiscal third quarter, according to its latest financial results.

During fiscal Q3 2024, Lightspeed generated nearly $240 million USD in total revenue—a 27 percent year-over-year increase that topped its prior outlook of $232 million to $237 million.

Investors reacted by selling their stocks despite the company beating its guidance. Lightspeed shares closed in Toronto Thursday at $19.90 CAD, down more than 13 percent.


Flexport’s Apple Air Freight Deal Has Burned Through Cash

For Flexport, a logistics company billing itself as the future of trade, it’s hard to think of a more impressive client than Apple, the poster child of globalization. Since late 2022, the iPhone maker has been using Flexport’s air freight services to fly products from some of its factories in Asia to U.S. cities for distribution to customers, according to two people familiar with Flexport’s business.

While that previously unreported contract was a feather in the cap for Flexport, it has also proved to be a major drag on the company’s bottom line. Flexport was losing at least $2 million per month on its Apple air freight last year, the two people said. The companies have been negotiating whether to renew the annual contract, which expires in March, one of the people said.

(The Information)

Ted Livingston’s new micropayments startup Code closes $6.5 million in seed financing

Kitchener-Waterloo-based Web3 startup Code has closed $6.5 million in seed funding to scale its new global micropayments platform.

Code, which pitches itself as a global payments platform that allows creators to earn money on anything they put online, was founded by Ted Livingston, the founder and former CEO of Canadian unicorn Kik, which was once among the world’s most popular chat apps.


Starship Technologies raises $90M for autonomous last-mile delivery expansion

Estonian delivery robot company Starship Technologies announced today that it has raised $90 million, co-led by Plural and Iconical.

Launched in 2014, Starship’s delivery robots have become a common sight on streets across Europe and the US, and the company is now the world’s leading autonomous delivery service, making more than six million deliveries and transforming last-mile delivery.


How to make data-driven decisions in your startup

Collecting and analyzing data to inform decisions is key to any startup’s growth. But in a world of unlimited data, failing to choose the right metrics to measure actually inhibits high-quality decision-making.

This is a challenge that Dillon Mullaney, VP of Revenue at Mozart Data, sees regularly with clients. Speaking with BetaKit, Mullaney explained how he builds high-quality dashboards that drive specific, relevant action.


Shopify hikes Plus plan subscription by 25%, raises credit card fees

Shopify is increasing the base price of its advanced subscription plan and raising credit card fees, a long-expected hike following the increase of its basic plan prices last year.

New merchants on an annual Plus plan will pay US$2,500 per month, as opposed to US$2,000 currently. That fixed monthly fee will be reduced to US$2,300 for those who commit to a three-year plan.

The company said the pricing update will allow it to help more businesses scale, and comes along with hundreds of new features including AI commerce tools.

(The Globe and Mail)

Inside Amazon, Temu’s Rise Prompts Soul Searching

Amazon’s executives pride themselves on their obsession with customers rather than competitors. A year ago, though, the head of Amazon’s e-commerce business, Doug Herrington, had one Amazon competitor very much on his mind.

Herrington sent his subordinates a news article about Temu, at the time a little-known subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce powerhouse PDD Holdings that was preparing a splashy statement in the U.S. with its first Super Bowl commercial. Herrington asked what they thought of Temu, according to a person with direct knowledge of his communication.

(The Information)

OneEleven taps Chris Greenfield as new managing director

The nearly 10-month-long search for OneEleven’s next managing director came to an end this week, as the Toronto-based innovation hub revealed the appointment of Chris Greenfield to the role.

The lengthy search amassed over 1,000 applications on LinkedIn alone. Sources familiar with the process indicated to BetaKit that a handful of candidates had been offered the role prior to Greenfield, extending the search beyond its original target of Fall 2023.


WeWork founder Adam Neumann trying to buy back company, sources say

WeWork Inc. founder Adam Neumann is trying to buy back the flexible workspace provider that filed for bankruptcy in November, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. 

Mr. Neumann’s new real estate company, Flow Global, has sought to buy WeWork or its assets, as well as provide bankruptcy financing to keep it afloat, the sources said.


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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