Farfetch Receives Investment from Tencent and Dragoneer; Shopify Revenue Booms


DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Farfetch receives investment from Tencent and Dragoneer; Shopify revenue booms; and Tourlane announces carbon offsetting plan. 

Farfetch receives investment from Tencent and Dragoneer

Farfetch recently received a USD$250m investment from Tencent Holdings and San Francisco-based investor Dragoneer as the e-tailer looks toward expansion.

The investors each purchased USD$125m in convertible 5% senior notes issued by the company, due to mature on December 31, 2025. The additional capital will go toward its growth plans, especially in China, and operational profitability, said Farfetch.

“As we continue to execute on our long-term strategy, we believe that this investment supports Farfetch in delivering on the significant opportunity we see and scaling our business to achieve profitability in the medium term,” said CEO and co-Chair José Neves in a statement.

Neves highlighted the investors’ technology expertise and the company’s existing partnership with Chinese tech company Tencent, connecting Western luxury brands to Chinese consumers via Tencent’s WeChat platform, a messaging, social media and mobile payments app.

Tencent announced last month that it would be increasing its investment in “smart retail,” building on its overall portfolio of more than 800 companies. Dragoneer has a billion-dollar portfolio, previously investing in companies such as Airbnb, Etsy, Facebook, Netflix, Spotify and Uber.

Shopify revenue booms

Shopify’s revenue increased a whopping 47% to USD$505m in the fourth quarter of 2019, sending the company’s stock up nearly 8%.

Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in a note that he believes Shopify is now the second-largest ecommerce retailer in the U.S. after Amazon.

The company last year said that it was getting into fulfillment to offer a service similar to Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon program, which allows sellers to pay a fee to have the company store and ship items after customers order them so they don’t have to worry about it themselves.

The company has some smaller competitors but the question is whether one of the tech giants will attempt to carve out a piece of this market for itself. The Information reported last year Microsoft was considering launching a Shopify competitor. 

Tourlane announces carbon offsetting plan

Berlin-based OTA Tourlane has announced an estimated 100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions for 2020 have been offset through a partnership with climate tech start-up Planetly.org.


The estimate includes emissions generated by operating the business and all emissions generated by customers through flights, accommodation, vehicle transportation and food from trips booked with Tourlane worldwide.

To offset its carbon footprint, Tourlane says it chose to support offset projects in Asia, Africa, and South America – especially projects that support the UN’s sustainable development goals for gender equality and eliminating poverty.

The types of projects supported vary from cookstove replacement, biomass, wind and solar energy, to hydropower and plastic collection.

Offsetting the carbon emissions of itself and its customer’s trips is part of Tourlane’s long-term sustainability strategy to be “planet-positive.” Johann Jones, head of sustainability at Tourlane, said: “We work steadily toward our goal to completely eliminate our company’s and our traveller’s ecological footprint around the world. As a first step, we decided to use carbon offsets for all of our and our customers’ carbon emissions.”

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