I first heard of Farfetch, the mid- to premium luxury e-commerce site back in 2012. I remember sharing it with a friend because the styles of certain brands were very different from US websites. She warned me to watch out for possible fakes especially from a new and relatively unknown website. It gave me pause because she could very well be right. But I kept myself updated with the website because I found the concept very interesting – sourcing from small boutiques internationally (mostly Europe and North America) and bringing them into a single shoppable platform. But it’s also interesting that there was this old mindset, completely overturned by now, especially by Net-a-Porter Group, that it’s hard to trust the authenticity of luxury items sold exclusively online. Fast forward to this week, and Farfetch just joined the billion-dollar valuation club, raising $86M in funding with a $1B valuation.
With massive valuations of tech companies, Farfetch is a small blip in the horizon but it still remarkable for an e-commerce startup serving in a niche – luxury items from small boutiques worldwide. Personally, I have not bought anything from Farfetch though I have considered it several times but then again, I’m probably not their target customer – I am quite price-sensitve to shipping, which is not free on Farfetch (although they do have promotional complimentary shipping at times). Still, a fashion startup with a $1B is exciting news.
In a follow-up to my post about self-driving cars, consulting firm McKinsey & Co. just released a study on self driving cars, claiming that self-driving cars could save thousands of lives and could boost Internet revenue by billions.
Here are this week’s weekly roundup in tech and retail:
- SpaceX wins preliminary ruling on patent dispute with Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin
- As Apple readies for its Apple Watch event on Monday, the company joins Dow Jones industrial average; meanwhile reports of fraud associated with Apple Pay surfaces
- Google to become a wireless carrier, but subscribers must have Google’s flagship phone, the Nexus 6
- Uber buys mapping tech startup deCarta for an unspecified amount
- Facebook will change the way it counts “likes” for Facebook Pages, feature will roll out in the coming weeks
- Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade crafts, files for IPO, will list on the Nasdaq under the ticker ETSY
- Amazon opens store inside local competitor, Alibaba’s Tmall in China
- Adidas reports Q4 loss, net loss for 3 months ended December reach $140M
- Abercrombie & Fitch reports another slide in sales for quarter ending January 31 while competitor American Eagle Outfitters reports stronger-than-expected earnings
- Coach turnaround efforts continue with opening of Paris flagship