Digital Commerce Boom Leads to India’s BharatPe Finalizing Massive Round, while Branded, Thrasio Close Major Rounds

Thrasio, a company that acquires and then aims to quickly grow third-party sellers on Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has finalized $750 million in new funding, raising the firm’s valuation to around $3 billion to $4 billion.

The investment round was led by current investors Advent and Oaktree.

Thrasio has managed to make many strategic acquisitions including nearly 100 Amazon businesses (to date) and states it’s now focused on closing two to three deals every week.

A blog post by Fintech SoFi explains that Thrasio intends to establish scalable economies with these projects. Several other competitors have somewhat similar business concepts and models and are also beginning to attract interest from investors, SoFi confirmed.

Recently, Branded, a new firm which “rolls up” and grows third-party sellers, finalized a $150 million funding round. It’s quite likely that this industry will see dramatic growth as digital commerce continues to grow rapidly in a post COVID environment. Analysts believe this landscape may become increasingly competitive on an international level due to globalization.

BharatPe, a New Delhi-headquartered Fintech firm, has acquired $108 million via a Series D investment round. The Indian startup develops systems to assist businesses with accepting virtual payments even if their other company operations are not completely online. India is home to 600 million Internet users and is notably the second-largest digital market in the world, however, much of the nation’s population isn’t yet connected to the Internet.

BharatPe offers services to around 6 million small businesses including convenience stores and roadside tea stands in India.

This latest funding round brings BharatPe’s valuation to around $900 million. The firm’s round was led by Coatue Management along with participation from Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, Amplo, and Sequoia Capital. BharatPe, which offers services in 75 Indian cities, intends to use the capital raised to further expand its operations into other regions in India.

In another update shared by SoFi, the Fintech notes that returns have “always caused challenges for retailers.” With digital commerce now booming, stores have updated return-related issues to address these changes. Last year, the number of e-commerce packages returned increased by 70% when compared to 2019.

Industry professionals believe that some of the online shopping habits picked up during the Coronavirus pandemic are most likely permanent. A new survey cited by SoFi reveals that 42% of consumers claim they’ll shop online “even more than they do now once the pandemic subsides.”

Because of these consumer behavior trends, digital commerce firms, large and small, are currently working on more permanent solutions to the challenges they’ve faced with returns from customers.

As confirmed by SoFi:

“About 30% of all online purchases [in the US] are returned, which is roughly three times the return rate for items purchased in brick-and-mortar stores. E-commerce purchases are returned more for a variety of reasons. Sometimes items ordered online do not fit properly, or do not meet customer expectations for other reasons. Also, online shoppers often order multiple sizes or colors of items so they can see them physically with the intent to return what they do not want. It also tends to be easier for customers to simply put an item back in the mail than it is to go to a physical store and wait at the return counter.”

While sharing other tech industry developments, SoFi pointed out that 559 firms have gone public during the past year in the US alone, however just three, including Bumble, were established by women.

Bumble (BMBL), the dating app that requires women to make the first move in its matches, went public recently. The company had initially priced shares at $43, however, the stock was up around 63% toward the end of the trading period that day.

Bumble was launched back in 2014 by its CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd. Wolfe Herd, 31, notably became the youngest woman founder to take a US company public.

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