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: Tencent invest in Farfetch to boost China growth; Haus raises and launches membership programme; Ola to launch in London next week.
Tencent invest in Farfetch to boost China growth
Farfetch has announced a USD$125 million investment from WeChat owner Tencent to accelerate its growth in China. The San Francisco-based investor Dragoneer has also agreed to put up another USD$125m.
Both companies are investing in convertible senior notes, a type of debt security, which can be converted into stock at the end of 2025. Farfetch’s stock was up by 12.71% in New York by early afternoon. Farfetch has made its name among luxury shoppers in China through WeChat by working with key opinion leaders (KOLs) such as Mr. Bags and Shiliupo. Its Mini Program provides access to more than 80 luxury brands, including Moncler, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, and Armani for WeChat’s one billion users. Tencent’s investment at this time elevates the relationship between the two companies.
“Tencent looks forward to supporting Farfetch’s mission to be a global technology platform for luxury fashion, and especially where we can support its efforts in China,” said Martin Lau, Tencent’s President, in a news release.
Haus raises and launches membership programme
It’s currently free to join the Haus Membership club, which gives members access to discounts, exclusive flavours, and members-only events. Haus members can also choose between three monthly bottle allotments that range in cost from USD$35 (for on bottle per month) to USD$144 (six bottles per month).
Haus will use the USD$4.5m funding to expand its apéritif offerings, launch wholesale in five cities and start an editorial platform.
Reacting to pushback from millennials frustrated with the ubiquity of expensive, traditional alcoholic drinks at professional and personal gatherings, Helena Price Hambrecht and husband Woody Hambrecht created Haus in June 2019. The couple learned that producers can ship directly to consumers if their alcohol product is comprised of grapes and the alcohol content is under 24%. They can distribute directly to member homes and build a strategic consumer database with demographics their much larger competitors lack.
Ola to launch in London next week
Indian cab-hailing service Ola Cabs announced it will launch its operations in London on February 10. As part of the announcement, the company revealed that it will start its service with over 20,000 registered drivers. The ride-hailing platform will be fully operational from day one with a healthy amount of drivers. More than 20,000 drivers have registered on the platform since it began on-boarding a month ago.
Simon Smith, head of Ola International, said “We are working closely with drivers to build high quality and reliable service for Londoners. Launching in London is a major milestone for us and we are keen to offer a first-class experience for all our customers.” The company aims to offer a differentiated experience on the platform with features such as 24×7 helplines. These 24×7 helplines will be available both for drivers and customers. Other features include an in-app emergency button, along with the best quality of service through its large network of drivers.
Ola obtained the license to operate in London in 2019. The firm has expanded rapidly throughout the UK since its launch and will now operate across 28 local authorities.
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