NTWRK, a video shopping app that helped popularize the idea of live-streamed commerce in the US, today announced $50 in new funding led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and global luxury group Kering, owners of luxury Million closed. brands Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, and others. The company is working to capitalize on the growing interest in live commerce and creator content, and has shifted to live virtual events and festivals as Covid-19 ravaged the US last year. It now says it will invest in working to further its growth and establish a more global footprint.
Other participants in the new round include Liontree Partners and Tenere Capital. They join former backers of the company: Main Street Advisors (whose investors include Jimmy Iovine, Drake, LeBron James), Live Nation, Foot Locker, and others. Allison Berardo, a vice president of the growth equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, will join NTWRK’s board of directors.
Aimed at a younger crowd of Gen Z and millennial consumers, NTWRK introduced tools that allow creators to interact with audiences and sell products in real time, a mix of QVC, Twitter, and Twitch. . The experience blends commerce with entertainment, as viewers watch and chat with other viewers and hots in real time, as they shop for streetwear, shoes, collectibles and other items. The company has also created its own exclusive content where it features hosts such as Billie Eilish, Juice WRLD, DJ Khaled, Odell Beckham Jr., Eddie Huang, Blake Griffin, Alexander Wang, FaZe Klan, Nadshot, Jonah Hill, Gary V, A$AP . Ferg, Wu-Tang Clan, Doja Cat and others. (It also invested in the FaZe Klan last year, we should note.)
Its business model goes beyond just offering live video shopping that you can tune in to at any time, as it also regularly includes product drops that serve to build anticipation and excitement. This kind of feature is only now making its way to big social media platforms like Instagram, which introduced Droplets this spring.
NTWRK has also adopted live events and virtual festivals as another way to engage the audience. Last year, for example, it ran Transfer, which included 30 brands and artists, panels, interviews, DJ sets and musical performances. It also ran Beyond the Streets, a virtual art fair attended by over 250,000 people. Earlier this year it ran a two-day designer toy and collectibles festival, unboxed, as the first list of digital events that subsequently run throughout the year, including Surface Festival, a Virtual Food Festival, and virtual Festival of household goods. it’s gearing up for it nowe return of its flagship program, Transfer.
This summer, NTWRK too hugged The world of digital goods with the launch of NTWRK NFT, your very own curated shop for unique crypto art from creators like BADBOI, Imaginary Foundation, Milkman, Young & Sick, Fifi, Kidite, MGOGLKTKO, and Eddie Gangland.
Livestream buying is already a popular activity overseas, but is still gaining ground here in the U.S. The company announced its news today, saying that livestream purchases in China will reach $150 billion in 2020 and $300 billion this year. billion is expected to grow. But in the US, 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, most culturally relevant, livestream shopping marketplace for Gen-Z and Millennial audiences who are obsessed with pop culture,” NTWRK CEO Aaron Levant said in a statement. “It is exciting for NTWRK to sign Goldman Sachs and Kering on the future of livestream shopping.”
NTWRK previously raised a $10 million Series A, according to crunchbase figures.