Correction: This article has been updated to clarify that the company's valuation is $100 million. The amount raised in Series A funding was not disclosed.
As investors rush to fund livestream platforms, Popshop Live is now valued at $100 million after a Series A funding round. A spokesperson stated that the company isn't disclosing the funding amount. Led by Benchmark, the funding round also included notable individual investors like Sophia Amoruso, Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner, according to a July 8 press release.
The company has also hired Bangaly Kaba, formerly head of growth at Instagram, and Jason Droege, former head of Uber Eats. Kaba will lead Popshop Live's platform growth efforts, and Droege will oversee expansion. Matt Cohler of Benchmark is also joining the company's board, per the announcement.
The funding will support Popshop Live's product and regional growth, according to the release.
Livestream commerce is picking up speed as consumer adoption grows, and startups and social media platforms alike innovate in the sector.
Popshop Live didn't disclose how many users it has on the platform now but noted in its announcement that it has increased sellers by more than 500% over the last three months. Nearly 80% of customers returned to buy a second item within 30 days, and the platform's shows have brought in "upwards of $500,000."
"Livestream commerce is not just a trend in China and through the pandemic, it is an emerging multi-billion-dollar phenomenon whose growth is accelerating every day," Cohler said in a statement. "Dan Dan has created something fundamentally new, unbounded, and powerful. Her tenacity and commitment to her vision of creating a marketplace for culture is singular."
As Popshop Live closes its funding round, it joins a growing roster of livestream shopping platforms raising venture capital and acquiring talent. Livestream startups like ShopShops, Whatnot and Talkshoplive have raised millions in funding this year, and Ntwrk, another livestream commerce startup, hired former Foot Locker exec Jason Brown to serve as its first chief marketer.
Meanwhile, other companies have been introducing their own livestream commerce features and events in hopes of attracting younger consumers. This year, Verishop and Instagram each rolled out livestreaming features. Back in March, Klarna and Cosmopolitan magazine co-hosted a virtual livestream shopping event aimed at Gen Z and millennial shoppers. As the format gains popularity, Ntwrk's recent shopping festivals garnered more than 10 million views each and turned more than 250,000 viewers into purchasers.
Taking a page from veteran video commerce channels like QVC and HSN, brands and retailers see livestreaming as a possible marketing channel to reach younger consumers. Though the practice is already booming in China, an April Coresight Research report estimates that the U.S. livestreaming market could reach $25 billion by 2023.