Ola to Open in London Imminently, as Uber has License Revoked; Everlane Open Brick-and-Mortar Space


DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: Ola to open in London imminently, as Uber has license revoked; Everlane open brick-and-mortar space; and Arteza raise to disrupt arts industry.

Ola to open in London imminently, as Uber has license revoked

Ola has said that it will begin operations in London “in the coming weeks,” after the local authorities revoked Uber’s license to operate in one of the world’s most lucrative cities.

The Indian firm, which entered portions of the UK last year, has started to sign up drivers in London ahead of the launch in the city, it said. Ola — which like its rival Uber,  counts SoftBank Group  as an investor — secured an operating license from Transport for London (TfL) earlier this year. The firm said it can already serve 7 million users across 27 boroughs in the UK.

To win over drivers, Ola said it was charging “favourable commissions” in a way that would allow drivers to keep “more of their earnings.” It did not specify the exact figures. In India, an Ola driver partner gets to keep between 70-74% of the passenger fare and access some “incentives.”

Expansion to London illustrates Ola’s growing international ambitions, especially in markets where Uber, its chief rival in India, has a large presence. Ola maintains a wide lead over Uber in India.

Everlane open brick-and-mortar space

Everlane, a DTC clothing brand positioning itself as offering ‘radical transparency’, is expanding into the brick-and-mortar space. 

Everlane will open in spring 2020, at Boston Seaport, the largest current development project in Boston. Everlane was founded in 2010 as a direct-to-consumer brand selling modern basics for men and women, with a promise of “radical transparency.” On its site, the retailer discloses how much it costs to make each item, breaking it down by materials, labor, duties, and transport. It also reveals its markup.

The company is also transparent about the factories where its products are manufactured, taking a hands-on approach to ensure each factory’s integrity. As an added assurance, it also requires stringent workplace compliance paperwork. 

Everlane currently has two locations in New York (downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn) and three in California (San Francisco, Palo Alto and Venice). 

The business has also promised to donate USD$10 to Oceana, an organisation dedicated to restoring the oceans in the wake of climate change, for every order placed on Black Friday. 

Arteza raise to disrupt arts industry

Arteza, the leading direct-to-consumer arts and crafts supplies company, has announced it has raised USD$24 million in Series A funding from growth equity firm Volition Capital. The company’s revenue growth was driven by rapid expansion of its customer base to over 2 million globally with similarly aggressive growth in its product portfolio with over 500 new products launched in 2019.

Founded in 2015, Arteza is disrupting the legacy arts and crafts supplies industry, which has been ripe for innovation in product design, retail experience, and customer service. Arteza’s unique focus on customers and its 750+ products, which are available direct to students, hobbyists, and professional artists, have fuelled significant growth and customer loyalty.

Also driving Arteza’s success as a digitally-native brand is its commitment to elevating the experience for customers and artists everywhere. The company’s ‘Creator’s Central’ blog provides free video tutorials and inspiration for artists, and it has built up a highly engaged community of almost 350K Instagram followers.

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