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#170 – Project Curiosity, Secondhand Wars, & Consent or Pay

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Recent Newsletters

Hi Shopifreaks!

I've got an intriguing edition for you this week with tales of corporate espionage, cyberstalking, and employee Squid Games from some of our industry's biggest players. 

But first, here's this week's latest interviews from our What's Next Series on LinkedIn: 

If your e-commerce tech startup is interested in participating in this new series, fill out this short interest form and I'll be in touch.

In this week's edition I cover:

  • How many Americans know about Temu?
  • Amazon's highly secretive corporate espionage
  • TikTok enters the UK's secondhand goods market
  • Meta's new AI image generation tool (and more AI news)
  • Wix Marketplace will now let you sell templates
  • Klarna's credit card is bringing lending full circle
  • Meta's consent or pay model isn't flying in the EU
  • Amazon wants you to use tech it doesn't
  • BigCommerce's inaugural Next Big Thing
  • Shopify's Squid Game approach to pay raises
  • MercadoLibre is on a hiring spree

All this and more in this week's 170th Edition of Shopifreaks. Thanks for subscribing and sharing!

Stat of the Week

90% of Americans know about Temu. However despite the brand awareness, more than 56% have never made a purchase. More than half the survey respondents said they heard of Temu because of ads for the online marketplace. — According to DigitalCommerce360

1. Here's how Amazon has been gathering intelligence on competitors

The Wall Street Journal published a massive exposé last week about the secret and borderline illegal ways that Amazon has gathered trade secrets on its competitors during the past decade.

The operation, called Big River Services International, is a company owned by Amazon that sells around $1M a year of products through competing platforms such as Walmart, eBay, Best Buy, Overstock, and Flipkart, so that Amazon can get an inside glimpse into how these marketplaces operate.

By posing as a seller on competing marketplaces, Big River has been able to obtain proprietary information about their pricing data, logistics, and payment services, which they then shared with Amazon higher ups to incorporate into decisions about its own business.

Although all companies research their competitors, lawyers say there is a fine line between normal corporate intelligence gathering of publicly available information and corporate espionage.

Did Amazon cross the line? Read details about the project below and then you decide…

Amazon took extreme actions to maintain the secrecy of the project:

  • Big River employees were given non-Amazon email addresses to use externally.
  • Information disseminated to Amazon executives was always printed, rather than sent via e-mail, as to not leave a digital trail.
  • Employees weren't supposed to discuss their role externally or internally with other teams at Amazon.
  • Employees were trained on what to say if their employment by Amazon was ever discovered. They were told to act as if this type of research was normal.
  • The intelligence gathering effort was initially called Project Curiosity, but Amazon later changed the name to Small Business Insights Team to sound less sinister.
  • Although corporate filings for Big River in the U.K. and other countries named senior Amazon employees and lawyers as company officials, Amazon felt confident that competitors wouldn't look up filings to see who was behind the company.

Here's how the scheme worked:

  • The Big River team acquired or created merchandise to sell on other marketplaces, sometimes going as far as creating licensing deals with Marvel to sell branded items.
  • The team would then identify online marketplaces they wanted to sell on.
  • The top goal was Walmart, but at the time, it only accepting vendors who sold large volumes on other marketplaces first. So to reach Walmart's criteria, the team started pumping products through to bolster its overall revenue. However the team was so secretive, that it didn't get any special treatment from Amazon to push its products.
  • By 2019, Big River finally got onto Walmart's website under the seller name Atlantic Lot. 
  • Walmart wasn't aware that Amazon ran the seller accounts on the Walmart and Flipkart sites before the Journal told it.
  • Big River team also stored inventory with rival logistics services such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, Deliverr, and Linther Spedition.
  • When FedEx Fulfillment launched in 2017, a competitor to FBA, Big River was accepted into the program as an early customer, where the team received early details about pricing, rate cards, and other terms as a result of the partnership.
  • Amazon’s internal lawyers reminded Big River team members at one point not to disclose their connection to Amazon in their conversations with FedEx.
  • When gaining access to rival seller systems, Big River members were instructed to take screenshots of competitor pricing, ad systems, cataloging, and listing pages.
  • Team members would also attend conferences thrown by rivals, such as eBay's Las Vegas conference for sellers, where they were instructed to only represent themselves as Big River employees.
  • The endeavor wasn't designed to make money. For example, in 2019, the Indian Big River team projected revenue of $165k, but expected costs of $463k to operate.

Amazon defends its program:

An Amazon spokesperson said, “Benchmarking is a common practice in business. Amazon, like many other retailers, has benchmarking and customer experience teams that conduct research into the experiences of customers, including our selling partners, in order to improve their experiences working with us.”

She also noted that Amazon believes its rivals also carry out research on Amazon by selling on its marketplace as well.

Did Amazon cross the line between corporate intelligence gathering and corporate espionage with Project Curiosity? Hit reply and share your thoughts or join the convo on LinkedIn.

2. TikTok Shop launches secondhand luxury category in the U.K.

TikTok Shop is launching a secondhand luxury category in the U.K., putting it in direct competition with Poshmark, The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, Depop, Mercari, and other secondhand marketplaces. The category has already existed in TikTok Shop U.S. for over six months.

The new category allows customers in the U.K. to purchase pre-owned high-end clothing, handbags, and accessories, beginning with just five brands initially including Sellier, Luxe Collective, Sign of the Times, HardlyEverWornIt, and Break Archive.

Like other resale marketplaces, TikTok Shop has an anti-counterfeit policy that guarantees a full refund if a buyer is sold a counterfeit product. All secondhand brands in the U.S. are required to have certificates from third-party authenticators such as Entrupy and Real Authentication, but initially in the U.K., partner brands will be using their own in-house authentication process. 

In other TikTok news… 

  • The House of Representatives passed legislation (again) that could trigger a nationwide ban of the app if its Chinese owner does not sell. This time the ban was attached to a sweeping foreign aid bill that provides support for Ukraine and Israel, so now the Senate has to choose between helping allies and keeping TikTok unbanned. Can't have both apparently.
  • TikTok is partnering with Celigo, an integration platform as a service (iPaas) to let retailers streamline their TikTok Shop operations using its cloud technology, which is designed to keep data current and synced across various applications.
  • Lastly, Earnest Analytics found that around 27% of TikTok shoppers came back to make another purchase within five months of their first buy. On this measure, TikTok Shop outperformed other e-commerce platforms including Temu, Shein, Etsy, and even Walmart.

🔥 Partner News

Flowspace introduced the next generation of its FlowspaceAI technology to serve as a second set of eyes to instantly analyze and make sense of the vast amount of data contained within an organization’s supply chain. The interface can analyze data and uncover real-time insights that fuel strategic planning, inventory and order management, risk mitigation, and cost-cutting strategies, allowing merchants to quickly take action within the dashboard. This is the second release under the FlowspaceAI umbrella, following the July 2023 release of FlowspaceAI for Freight, designed to eliminate many of the tedious, time-consuming processes involved in transportation and freight management.

3. Meta's reaching peak AI capabilities

Meta announced that its newest large language model, Llama-3, is the “most capable” and “best open source model” currently available on the market. The company's blog post minced no words about claiming it was the best. They wrote:

This next generation of Llama demonstrates state-of-the-art performance on a wide range of industry benchmarks and offers new capabilities, including improved reasoning. We believe these are the best open source models of their class, period.

Meta also says that its new model creates “sharper and higher quality” images and has a “better ability to include text in images.”

Here's what else is new with Meta AI: 

  • Meta introduced Imagine, a new AI image generation feature that allows users to create images in real time. The feature will roll out to beta users on WhatsApp and the Meta AI website.
  • Meta is adding its AI chatbot to Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. The chatbot will be integrated into the existing search bar of these apps, making it easy to access without needing a standalone app.
  • Facebook began offering some users the option write comments for them using AI. The feature offered a variety of comment styles including insightful, inspirational, heartfelt, casual, and supportive.
  • Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview that Meta wearables that read brain signals are coming soon and that the new neural technology that it's developing will be “pretty wild.” The company plans on adding its first application for AR glasses. However, unlike Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain chip, Zuckerberg explained that these devices wouldn’t be something that “jacks into your brain” but something wearable on the wrist that can “read neural signals that your brain sends through your nerves to your hand to basically move it in different subtle ways.”
  • But the biggest Meta news of the week isn't any of the above, but rather a Photoshopped Bearded Photo of Mark Zuckerberg that went viral this weekend, that resulted in some users comparing him to Jack Harlow.

4. You can now buy website templates within Wix Marketplace

Wix is now allowing freelancers and agencies who are part of its Studio platform to sell their website templates directly within the Wix Marketplace. 

What is Wix Studio? The Wix Studio platform launched in Aug 2023 to help freelancers and agencies grow their business with Wix's suite of tools. The studio offers:

  • Business website builder with advanced coding capabilities
  • Complete design & CSS control
  • AI design for text and images
  • Team management
  • One dashboard to power all projects and clients
  • Wix Blocks to build and sell reusable applications
  • The ability for freelancers and agencies to list their professional services

Now, in addition to selling apps and professional services, Wix partners can create and sell Wix website templates through its marketplace — comparable to Shopify's Theme Store.

All available templates for sale must pass a review for quality and usability before being listed. 

Hasn't Wix always offered templates? Yes, Wix has historically offered a selection of free templates provided by the company itself. Additionally Wix users could code their own templates by themselves or with the help of Wix's AI Site Generator which launched last July. 

Now with the new ability to sell templates, Wix can increase its selection of ready-to-publish site templates via leveraging its partner network, as well as create new revenue opportunities for them.

Michal Bignitz, VP of Partners at Wix, said, “Expanding the Wix Marketplace to include template sales not only empowers our Partners to unlock additional revenue streams and strengthen their presence within the Wix community but also fosters a thriving ecosystem of creativity and innovation. It’s an exciting opportunity for Partners to collaborate with and benefit from other experts, as we've seen with beautifully crafted templates combining design and dev skills.”

5. Klarna's credit card is launching in the U.S.

Following its successful debut in Europe, Klarna is now preparing to extend its credit card offering to consumers in the U.S.

The card, which will be issued by Utah-based WebBank, will allow customers to buy products in any brick-and-mortar or e-commerce store that accepts Visa with the ability to pay for the purchase in either three or six month installments. 

On other words, Klarna's credit card brings its BNPL payment option to any store that accepts Visa, even if the store doesn't offer its own dedicated BNPL offering. 

Perks / requirements of the card include: 

  • No monthly, annual or foreign transaction fees
  • Users able to earn up to 10% cashback when using the card through the associated app
  • New users will need to complete a credit assessment prior to accessing the card, and must also have previously repaid a Klarna instalment at least once

Klarna previously launched the card in its home country, Sweden, in 2019 before extending it to Germany in 2021 and the U.K. in 2022. There's currently a waitlist that U.S. customers can join, with plans to launch in the market “over the next few months.”

It's funny how consumer lending is coming full circle, back to existing as a credit card.

I've always looked at BNPL as a feature, not a product, and never quite understood why the loan type had to exist as a standalone payment method, as opposed to a payment option on existing credit cards.

Although I hate BNPL because I feel that it's too easy for consumers to bite off more than they can chew with multiple installment loans, as opposed to one running balance on a credit card, I respect that it's brought much needed competition to the credit card industry and forced providers to create more attractive loan payment options.

6. Meta cannot tell users to “consent or pay”

The EU's Data Protection Board told very large online platforms, particularly looking in Meta's direction, that they cannot offer users a binary choice between paying for a service and consenting to their personal data being used to provide targeted advertising.

The opinion published last week follows complaints by consumer and privacy organizations about Meta's decision to introduce a €9.99/month (or €12.99/month on iOS and Android) premium plan for users who do not want their personal data used for targeted advertising.

With this newly published opinion, the EU Data Protection Board has determined that in the majority of instances, it will not allow tech companies to confront users only with this type of “consent or pay” model.

Meta believes that the EDPB's opinion is contrary to what the EU courts ruled last year, and doesn't plan on changing its model solely based on this new opinion.

A spokesperson said, “Last year, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the subscriptions model is a legally valid way for companies to seek people's consent for personalized advertising. Today's EDPB opinion does not alter that judgment and subscription for no ads complies with EU laws.”

So it looks like the Data Protection Board is going to have to fight this battle in court if that opinion is to be enforced, as Meta won't be doing it voluntarily.

7. Amazon pushes the tech it doesn't use on other companies

Two weeks ago, I reported that Amazon is removing its Just Walk Out cashierless checkouts from its Fresh supermarkets in the US and instead will rely more heavily on Dash Carts, which track and tally up items as shoppers place them in their carts, enabling them to skip the checkout line.

Amazon said that it will continue to license the Just Walk Out cashierless system to third parties, to which I commented that as a retailer, I personally wouldn't invest in a technology that Amazon is removing from its own stores, as it doesn't show much confidence in the tech.

However apparently Amazon doesn't think it'll be a problem that it's shuttering the tech in its own stores because last week the company said that it plans to push its Just Walk Out technology into more third-party stores this year, increasing its count from the 140 stores that currently use it.

Amazon also said that it's planning on bringing its Dash Carts to more supermarkets, including all of its own Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S. and selected Whole Foods locations, as well as third-party grocers.

Amazon claims that customers who use Dash Carts spend 10% more than normal shoppers in Amazon Fresh stores, and that more than 80% of daily Dash Cart transactions are from repeat users.

In a blog post, Amazon also discredited The Information's report that its AI cashierless tools relied on thousands of humans behind the scenes. They wrote, “The erroneous reports that Just Walk Out technology relies on human reviewers watching from afar is untrue. Most AI systems, including the underlying ML models behind these technologies, are continuously improved by annotating synthetic (AI generated) and real shopping data.”

8. BigCommerce's inaugural Next Big Thing

BigCommerce announced over 100 significant platform enhancements, new features, and integrations as part of its first ever BigCommerce Editions Summer '24 Next Big Thing product launch, which breaks down which features are currently available, coming soon, or on a waitlist.

The company says in its video that these features are designed to enable “commerce without compromise, helping you to grow and stand out from your competition.”

Here's a recap of what's coming soon:

  • Blog settings and blog posts will be customizable by storefront channel, allowing you to optimize content for each region.
  • Merchants will be able to set product prices for each price to be exclusive or inclusive of taxes. [Waitlist]
  • Shoppers will be able to receive regional shipping options to suit their local preferences.
  • A new direct integration with TD Online Mart is coming.
  • Page Widgets API will soon let designers manage the layout of content directly, improving workflows when widgets need to be copied between environments. [Waitlist]
  • A new accelerator built by 10up's HeadstartWP is coming to fast track composable commerce while retaining the most popular capabilities of WordPress.
  • Makeswift, its visual editing suite, will be incorporated into Catalyst for easier building with no code.
  • You'll be able to create your own customized Buyer Portal experience by starting with the source code.
  • Using Google BigQuery ML, merchants will be able to leverage predictive analytics to offer insights on the future lifetime value of new shoppers. The feature will be built into BigCommerce's existing native Google BigQuery integration.
  • Quote forms will soon be able to have tags, extra fields, and send trigger-based e-mails.
  • Google Retail AI integration will let you display personalized product recommendations. [Waitlist]
  • BigCommerce is adding promotion catalog variants and modifiers to offer greater flexibility and granularity for product targeting when choosing which products are eligible for promotions.
  • Faster checkout via PayPal is on the way, allowing customers to securely save their payment info.
  • Now available in Beta, developers can add new functionality to the Shipping step of checkout, with additional checkout regions on the way. [Waitlist]
  • Customers will be able to checkout with multiple shipping addresses within the one-page checkout.
  • PCI DSS 4.0 is on the way for everyone.
  • Plus new developer and security tools for configuring webhooks, user permissions, deploying content, and more.

Lots in store for the newly profitable BigCommerce 2.0!

9. Other e-commerce news of interest

Shopify is taking an unconventional approach to raises by making its 8,300 employees compete against each other to qualify for more pay. According to The Information, Shopify assigns employees a numerical score to represent their skill level, which can only increase if their skill level improves faster than colleagues. Feels a little Squid Game-ish.

Amazon will account for 40.4% of U.S. retail e-commerce sales, or a total of $491B this year, according to an eMarketer report. Among major U.S. retailers, only Walmart is growing its e-commerce sales faster than Amazon at 13.6% compared with Amazon's 10.5%.

This makes sense given that Amazon Prime had 180M members in March, which accounts for 75% of all U.S. shoppers, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. This represents an 8% increase from 2023.

The share of consumers carrying cash is on the decline, at 81% as of April 2023, down from 84% in August 2020 and 94% in July 2018. The most common reason given for not carrying cash is that other payment methods are easier or more convenient to use.

commercetools made three announcements at its Elevate conference: 1) They integrated PayPal's new Fastlane feature, a one-click guest checkout experience designed to speed up the checkout process for consumers. 2) They launched a new B2B offering called Blueprint for B2B Manufacturing, which streamlines implementation and speed time-to-market for manufacturers. 3) They launched Community, a platform designed to foster enhanced support, communication, and collaboration among customers and partners.

Walmart Marketplace and teamed up to allow customers using's multichannel management platform to access special incentives across Walmart's shipping, advertising, and repricing services, as well as support for onboarding and customer success. will use its multichannel selling capabilities and Constellation AI features to make it more efficient for brands to sell and list products on the marketplace and leverage Walmart's customer base, infrastructure, and fulfillment network.

Amazon introduced a free, shoppable, ad-supported channel to its Prime Video and Freevee streaming service, which allows U.S. consumers to browse, shop, and engage with content they're watching on their TV screen via mobile devices. The channel utilizes Amazon's “shop the show” technology, which integrates its mobile app with onscreen content to showcase a carousel highlighting the featured products being depicted on television in real time.

None of the ad transparency tools created by 11 of the world's largest tech companies operate as effectively as needed, according to a report by Mozilla and CheckFirst research. The study, which tested the transparency of tools using over 20 parameters regarding functionality, data accessibility, and accuracy, found that the repositories are plagued by missing data, bugs, shoddy features, and unacceptable shortfalls.

Post News, the Twitter alternative founded by Noam Bardin, the previous CEO of Waze, and backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Scott Galloway, is shutting down just a year and a half after launching in beta. Bardin said in a statement, “At the end of the day, our service is not growing fast enough to become a real business or a significant platform.. we have not managed to find the right product combination to make it happen.”

MercadoLibre plans to increase total staff by 30% this year by hiring 18,000 people as it seeks to grow its business in Mexico and other Latin American countries, a hiring spree which will bring its headcount to around 76,000 full time workers. The company has been seeking to expand operations in Mexico, which was its number three market by revenue in 2023, behind only Brazil and Argentina.

Target is reducing the selection and quantity of DVDs it will sell in its retail stores, transitioning most of the sales online, with the physical stores only carrying new releases during key times of the year moving forward. Best Buy made a similar move last October, abolishing all physical media from its stores other than video games, leaving Walmart as the physical media king with over 45% market share.

Best Buy launched an AR app called Best Buy Envision, designed exclusively for the Apple Vision Pro that offers real-time product previews. The app allows consumers to see how a product would appear in their space in terms of size, style, and color before making a purchase, showcasing products in 3D and providing essential information like ratings, reviews, and pricing. 

Kraft Heinz Co. and Mattel Inc are teaming up to produce a “Barbiecue” sauce — a limited edition pink colored sauce with Barbie branding on the label. The company first gauged interest on social media last summer, when a Facebook post generated 464k likes and 71k comments. From there, product development took about six months.

The House Financial Services Committee voted to block a rule that would cap credit card late fees as soon as next month. Chairman Patrick McHenry said in a statement, “The credit card late fee rule fails to acknowledge the role certain fees play in encouraging timely payments. It will harm consumers by shifting costs to responsible consumers who pay on time in the form of higher annual fees and higher interest rates.” I call BS on that though. The credit card landscape is still very competitive and “responsible consumers” wouldn't sit back, do nothing, and absorb higher fees — they'd move on to a different card with better fees / rates. Capping late fees would've only protected consumers who need a break.

Grubhub teamed up with Mercato, an online marketplace for independent grocery stores, to bring its inventory of more than 950 merchants across the US to the Grubhub Marketplace. This is the first time Mercato has teamed up with a third-party delivery company.

Last week I reported that Coupang was raising its monthly membership fee for new users by 58%. Now its biggest competitors, Naver and Shinsegae Group, are going all-out to take advantage of the decision by running promotions on their own paid membership programs. However Coupang isn't worried because neither competitor can match its ultra-fast Rocket Delivery service.

Here's what Coupang should actually worry about… Amazon introduced free shipping benefits for South Korean consumers last week for orders exceeding $49. While delivery times fluctuate depending on the product, and even Amazon can't beat Coupang's fast delivery network, Amazon ensures that it'll hit the estimated delivery times indicated during checkout.

Dollar General opened its 20,000th store in February with the opening of its latest store in southeastern Texas. The company plans to complete 2,385 real estate related projects this year including opening 800 new stores, remodeling 1,500 locations, and relocating 85 stores. There's currently about one Dollar General for every 16k Americans.

MarketForce, the Y Combinator-backed Kenyan startup founded in 2018, is shutting down RejaReja, its B2B e-commerce platform, citing the razor-thin margins of B2B e-commerce businesses and profitability struggles as contributing factors to the decision. The company's co-founder, Tesh Mbaabu, shared that he and his co-founder will be pivoting to a company called Chpter, which focuses on empowering online merchants through conversational commerce in Africa.

Amazon's packaging has been getting more efficient in recent years thanks to its multimodal AI model called the Package Decision Engine, which is tasked with selecting the right box, bag, or wrapper for each package it ships. The AI model interprets pictures and text to choose the best shipping materials, which has helped the company cut out 2M tons of plastic and cardboard since 2015.

Tesla confirmed that it spent $200k to advertise on X so far, despite Elon Musk famously saying that he despises advertising and that Tesla doesn't pay to advertise. X users reported starting to see Tesla ads on X starting in February 2024.

Meta may launch ads on its Threads platform as early as the second half of this year, likely to be integrated into Meta's ad platform, Advantage+, alongside existing options for Facebook and Instagram. Initial ad formats are anticipated to include in-feed placements, with potential expansions to trends and topic selections.

Alibaba Group announced that its CEO, Eddie Wu, would now be directly overseeing its domestic e-commerce arm which includes Taobao and Tmall Group. Wu has been CEO since September, when he also took over the company's cloud business, which means he will now be leading the company's two most important divisions.

Seven amateur criminals rented heavy equipment from Home Depot locations in Washington and Colorado using stolen credit cards, and then sold the machinery on Facebook Marketplace. The funniest part is that the criminals would often use their real driver's licenses for the required identification to rent the machines, so they were easy to find!

TAKE HER DOWN: eBay Stalking Scandal, a documentary short that tells the story of when eBay executives threatened and stalked Ina and David Steiner of EcommerceBytes for publishing blog posts critical of the company, is set to be released on April 25th. Filmmakers Ray and Nicole Ward ,a brother and sister production team, are initially releasing the 15 minute short on YouTube, with the possibility of developing it into a feature length version later this year. You can watch the teaser on YouTube.

U.S. parcel volumes reached 21.65B shipments in 2023, a 0.5% increase from the year prior. Amazon and alternative carriers posted strong volume gains, while FedEx and UPS both saw a decline.

10. Seed rounds, IPOs, & acquisitions

ShipBob is planning to launch its IPO as soon as late 2024 at a $4B valuation, according to unnamed sources. The company has tapped J.P. Morgan Chase to lead its IPO and is also working with Citigroup, according to the Bloomberg report.

UniUni, a Canada-based e-commerce last-mile logistics company, raised $50M in a Series C round led by DCM, closely following the company's $20M Series B2 round in December 2023. The company now boasts more than 50 high-capacity sorting centers in North America and will use the funds to open additional centers in the United States.

Laybuy, a New Zealand-based BNPL provider used throughout Europe, has put itself up for sale, aiming to transition from public to private ownership by delisting from New Zealand's junior stock exchange, Catalist. The company has seen its valuation plummet from £230M in 2020 to £5.4M in 2024.

Relevic, a UK-based e-commerce platform that delivers personalized experiences tailored to each customer's preferences and behavior, raised £150,000 in a pre-seed round led by Jenson Funding Partners. The funding will be used to further enhance the product and increase customer acquisition.

The Folklore, an e-commerce startup that helps fashion brands from emerging markets like Africa, Asia, and The Caribbean tap into international markets, raised $3.4M in a round led by Benchstrength, bringing its total amount raised to $6.2M. The company will use the funds to introduce new services to give brands additional help to scale, including capital and talent.

Bumper, a London-based fintech company that provides BNPL loans for car repairs and service, raised £2M in a Series B extension round led by Suzuki Global Ventures and Marubeni Ventures. The company will use the funds to expand its offering and make its product more convenience for customers.

Flatpay, a Danish startup that builds payment solutions for SMBs, raised €45M in a round led by Dawn Capital, at a valuation over $100M. The company plans to use the funds to expand into new markets in Europe and build out more products alongside its point-of-sale and card terminals.

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See you next Monday,


Paul E. Drecksler
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PS: I was test driving a new car yesterday, and the salesman said it can seat six people without any problems. I told him I don't think I know six people without any problems.