Posts tagged with "EBay"

Bob Iger, eBay, Rich Paul, and Chernin Group team up to buy 25% stake in toy maker Funko

Nay 9, 2022

A consortium including former Disney CEO Bob Iger, sports agent Rich Paul,  eBay, and the  film and television production company Chernin Group is buying a 25% stake in toy maker Funko, reports CNBC.

The investment, which is worth $263 million, or $21 per share, means Chernin will add two directors to Funko’s board. Chernin Group CEO Peter Chernin and Iger will serve as advisors to the board.

Shares of Funko were initially halted on the news, but late on Thursday, May 5, resumed trading after hours—jumping more than 20% to around $21 per share.

“We believe Funko is significantly undervalued in the public markets and at this highly attractive entry price provides a runway of opportunity and growth potential,” Chernin said in a statement Thursday. “There are many areas of identifiable growth across content, commerce, marketplaces, consumer products and technology that should drive substantial increases to Funko’s performance.”

In addition to his investment business, Chernin produces television and films through Chernin Entertainment, which launched titles such as “New Girl,” “Hidden Figures,” “The Greatest Showman” and “Ford v Ferrari.” Previously, he served as president and COO of News Corp; and chair and CEO of the Fox Group, where he helped greenlight “Titanic” and “Avatar,” two of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Iger is well-known in the entertainment industry for leading the charge at Disney to acquire Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and, most recently, 20th Century Fox. Many of the characters from franchises within these brands can be found as part of Funko’s product line.

Paul, CEO and founder of Klutch Sports Group and head of sports at United Talent Agency, is expected to bring his expertise in the sports and music sectors to help advance Funko’s product expansion in those areas. He represents LeBron James.

As part of the investment, eBay and Funko agreed to make eBay the preferred secondary market for Funko products. They will also team up for exclusive product releases.

“Funko sits at the intersection of pop culture, passion and collectibles, with one of the most engaged communities of enthusiasts,” said Stefanie Jay, eBay chief business and strategy officer, in a statement. “Building on the incredible appetite for Funko products on eBay, we look forward to what our companies can do together.”

Research contact: @CNBC

‘Wigs are the next big thing’: Boston beauty startup simplifies purchase process for Black women

June 24, 2021

Mary Imevbore bought her first wig online in 2017 when she was attending Williams College in Massachusetts.

Like many Black women, she had decided to “go natural” years ago—forgoing damaging hair straightening treatments. But she had trouble finding a Black hair stylist in the rural Berkshires, and as a double major in political science and computer science, didn’t have much time to style her hair in a dorm room.

“I wanted something quick and easy, so I discovered wigs—but the shopping experience was terrible,” Imevbore recently told The Boston Globe.

It struck Imevbore that a better buying option didn’t exist “because the consumer is a Black woman.” So she teamed up with two Williams classmates, Tiiso McGinty and Susana Hawken, to create the kind of brand they would want to patronize.

After three years of work, the cofounders have officially launched beauty startup Waeve —pronounced “wave”— dropping a product line of six trendy, beginner-friendly wigs on a website designed with bold colors and a Gen Z aesthetic.

“We believe wigs are the next big thing in beauty and fashion,” Imevbore said. “We are building the ultimate destination.”

The 24-year old, who was born in Nigeria and grew up in Connecticut, said wigs are popular among Black women because wigs allow them to reclaim the time they would have spent styling their natural hair. She called them an “extension of the natural hair movement,” since Black women who ditched chemical relaxers were looking for other ways to express themselves through their hair without ruining it.

“The perception is that a wig is a utility, like you have one umbrella,” she explained to the Globe, “but that is not how people are wearing wigs … people are building wig collections.”

In college, she and her friends would spend hours vetting companies, comparing contradicting product reviews on YouTube, and grappling with varying delivery times and changing prices. That was in 2017, when companies such as eyewear retailer Warby Parker and beauty products seller Glossier were disrupting markets by reaching customers online instead of through stores.

Imevbore figured the same thing could happen with wigs, and although she never considered herself an entrepreneur, she began thinking like one.

“Wigs are an expensive product that is growing in demand; people are spending hundreds of dollars on them multiple times a year,” she said.

The market for wigs and hair extensions in North America is expected to reach $2 billion by 2026, according to French research firm Reportlinker, with Black consumers accounting for a big chunk of that spending.

The trio started with $30,000 after winning two business competitions in 2018—one at Williams and the other at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—to launch a direct-to-consumer wig business.

That same year Imevbore, McGinty, and Hawken were finishing up their senior year of college, and they all happened to be headed to Boston and moved in together. Imevbore worked as a software engineer at online pharmacy startup PillPack in Somerville — which was acquired by Amazon that year — while McGinty pursued a program at Boston University, and Hawken started on a PhD at MIT.

The momentum started building in 2020 when the company raised $2 million in a funding round led by Boston venture capital firm Pillar VC, with participation from Maveron, an investor in consumer companies such as Allbirds, eBay, and Everlane. Waeve also garnered high-profile support from three current and former executives of Glossier. And TJ Parker and Elliot Cohen, cofounders of Pill Pack, also participated in the round. (Imevbore worked at Pillpack through the Amazon acquisition until last year, when she decided to pursue Waeve full time).

Waeve exists in a world that hasn’t always welcomed, understood, or catered to Black hair. While that allowed the startup to fill a gap, it also led to challenges behind the scenes. Imevbore said there was a learning curve with potential investors, who didn’t immediately understand why consumers would buy more than one wig.

The numbers were not in Waeve’s favor, either: Crunchbase found that in 2020, less than 1% of all venture capital funding went to Black founders, and a similarly small slice of money went to startups founded by women.

“As a team, I remember us griping,” Imevbore said. “If we were selling lipstick or shoes, we wouldn’t have to explain why someone wants those things. People are buying [wigs] like handbags and sneakers, but [that] is something I had to convey to investors.”

The Waeve team began interviewing Black women about their hair experiences, gathering testimonials and videos to show investors they were tapping a segment that had long been overlooked. It worked and also became the foundation for Waeve World, a grassroots effort to build a community around the brand through shared experiences and hair advice.

According to the Globe, Waeve’s first collection, “Days of the Week,” is inspired by the idea that wigs are an accessory that can constantly change. The company worked with a manufacturer in China to design six initial styles—which range from a curly, middle-part wig to a platinum blonde, straight cut—and it will drop a new line every quarter. Ranging in price from $72 to $398, the wigs are delivered to the company’s distribution center and office in Boston, where employees package them into “starter kits” filled with additional supplies.

Imevbore said she wants to build the type of cult-like brand loyalty for Waeve that other online brands enjoy, and it’s starting with Boston. Waeve has nine full-time employees and more than 5,000 followers on Instagram, and is already hosting community events, such as a recent picnic in the Public Garden.

Research contact: @BostonGlobe

As China continues to ‘go low’ on shipping rates, Trump moves the bar higher

October 22, 2018

President Donald Trump is threatening to intensify the trade war between the United States and China by ordering the U.S. Postal Service to withdraw from a treaty that has set shipping rates among 192 member nations for 144 years.

The Universal Postal Union—established in 1874 and adopted as a body of the United Nations in 1948—has enabled developing countries to pay lower rates when shipping packages internationally; often putting some of the cost of delivering packages on the postal services of wealthier countries.

Indeed, according to an October 17 report by Politico, the policy initially was intended to spur economic growth in poorer countries by connecting them with global markets.

But now that some of those countries—including China—have become exporting giants, the Trump administration hopes to use its withdrawal as leverage to negotiate more favorable terms for historically wealthy countries, like the United States.

Reaction has been mixed. A senior administration official told Politico that  the administration would prefer to stay within the union and that a full withdrawal takes a year to implement. Therefore, he said, he hopes that America can negotiate more favorable terms within that time frame.

“You could have something shipped from Indiana to New York and it would be more expensive than having it shipped from China because of price distortion introduced through the [old] rates,” Professor Rick Geddes, a postal service expert and Director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy at Cornell University, told NBC News for an October 19 story.

Companies such as Amazon and FedEx have long taken issue with the treaty, the network said—both citing what they believe are unfairly discounted shipping rates for foreign shippers.

However, on the plus side, American manufacturers, believe that withdrawing from the agreement would level what they see as an unfair playing field.

Indeed, Jayme Smaldone, CEO of the New Jersey–based company, Mighty Mug, wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal last February, noting that his firm paid $6.30 to ship by regular mail; but a Chinese company that sold a knock-off version could ship it to the same location from 8,000 miles away for just $1.40.

Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, told

NBC News that the administration was making a positive move. “Manufacturers and manufacturing workers in the United States will greatly benefit from a modernized and far more fair arrangement with China,” he said.

American consumers had for years benefited from lower e-commerce prices on sites like Amazon and eBay when buying lower-priced Chinese goods. Without the discount, those sellers could evaporate and U.S. online shoppers would have to pay higher prices.

“Chinese sellers on eBay and other platforms may disappear, or at the very least they will not find it so easy to sell to Americans anymore,” Gary Huang, chairman of the Supply Chain Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghaitold Bloomberg.

He added, “American consumers will have less access to that really cheap stuff.”.

Research contact: @matthewchoi2018

What brands inspire the most interest and passion online?

November 1, 2017

Nike ranked the highest in overall brand performance—overtaking last year’s top achiever, Amazon—when NetBase released the results on September 19 of it 2017 Retail Brands Report, which examined 594 million social media posts and 71 global companies across seven categories to find the trends and emotions that drive retail customers.

In order from one through ten, the brands that placed at the top of the list were Amazon, Nike, Victoria’s Secret, Best Buy, eBay, Adidas, Zara, Chanel, Target and Louis Vuitton. EBay also was cited as “the [number-one] most passionately and positively discussed brand.”

Although Amazon’s eCommerce platform again was the significant leader in overall volume of posts—ballyhooing Amazon Prime and its traditional bread and butter, books—Nike claimed the top spot “due to its combined reach and brand passion,” the researchers said. The athletic shoe and activewear brand’s results were driven by sponsorships with athletes, such as soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo; social campaigns, including the Nike Pro Hijab for female Muslim athletes; and an attempt to break the sub- two-hour marathon.

In the same sector, Adidas made a strong initial debut to the list at overall number six. It gave Nike a run for its money by commanding 41 percent of the athletic share of voice, as compared to Nike’s 47 percent.

“This year’s report shows why it is important to go beyond volume and tonality for social analytics,” stated NetBase CMO Paige Leidig, adding, “Consumers want to have authentic engagements with brands and products, and are enthusiastic to share these experiences— positive or negative. It’s more crucial than ever to understand the sentiment behind the emotions of your brand, competitors, and industry, and how strong those feelings are.”

Although the top ten brands cumulatively accounted for 427 million posts—or 72% of the total conversation volume that NetBase measured for all retailers on the list—some small companies’ zealous fans came through: Warby came in at number 44; Wayfair, at 56; and Kate Spade, at 57.

The top luxury brand, Chanel, finished at number eight, reflecting shoppers’ passion for the cosmetics and fashion line by making the top ten two years in a row. It pummeled number 16, Gucci, which leads in the combined brick-and-mortar and online market with a 42% share and had nearly twice the mentions of Chanel.

And speaking of bricks, department store Nordstrom generated more than 1.4 million posts in just one week after it dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. While the sentiment was very negative, ‘#boycott Nordstrom’ garnered fewer than 1 percent of mentions for the year. This shows that while attention was generated, Nordstrom’s social performance was not affected long term.

Target led in the big box category at number nine, with a 54% share; while new Amazon acquisition Whole Foods topped the list of grocery brands with a 15% jump in the number of mentions after news of the takeover broke.

Survey contact: info@netbase.com