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Bits & Bytes | JD.com's IPO, Flipkart Buys Myntra, Soldsie, Westfield Labs

Bits & Bytes is a weekly roundup of the most important news in the fast evolving fashion-tech space.
By
  • Lisa Wang

"Web Retailer JD.com's IPO Shows a Hunger for China" (The New York Times)
"The biggest test yet of American investors' appetite for a Chinese Internet company has passed with flying colors — and it doesn't involve the Alibaba Group, that country's e-commerce giant. Instead, JD.com, an online retailer aspiring to become China's answer to Amazon.com, exceeded expectations for its initial public offering on Wednesday, raising $1.78 billion."

"Flipkart to Acquire Myntra to Widen Lead Over Amazon in India" (Bloomberg)
"The purchase gives seven-year-old Flipkart access to Myntra's customers and suppliers strengthening its position as the online retailer fends off competition from EBay Inc. and Amazon. India's Internet retail market is estimated to expand sevenfold to $22 billion by 2018, according to CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets."

"Soldsie, The Service That Lets You Shop Via Facebook And Instagram Comments, Raises $4 Million" (TechCrunch)
"Soldsie, an e-commerce service enabling businesses to sell directly to their Facebook fans and Instagram followers through the comments section, has raised $4 million in Series A funding from First Round Capital, the company is announcing this morning. Others participating investors include SoftTechVC, Lerer Ventures, Correlation Ventures, Great Oaks Ventures, e.Ventures, 500 Startups and other individuals."

"At Westfield Labs, Rethinking Retail One Mall at a Time" (Street Fight Magazine)
"Brick-and-mortar firms are fighting back. The Westfield Group, one of the largest owners of indoor malls in the world, has invested in new technologies and digital strategies to reshape the physical shopping experience. In 2012, the the company opened Westfield Labs, a San Francisco-based division tasked with developing technology to improve the retail experience in the 87 malls which the company operates across five countries."

"Ashton Kutcher's Pickwick & Weller Closes Up Shop" (Pando Daily)
"Given the enormous costs and operational challenges of building a successful online retail business, startups in this category typically either grow exponentially or quickly wither on the vine. It's simply too costly to maintain a ecommerce business that isn't finding meaningful traction. It appears that Culver City-based Pickwick & Weller, which designs and sells its own line of custom T-shirts and featured Ashton Kutcher as a 'celebrity co-founder,' is the latest example of a company that found the task of building an online brand more than it bargained for."

"Fab to Cut Another 80 to 90 Jobs, a Third of Global Staff" (Recode)
"E-commerce company Fab is announcing another round of job cuts tomorrow, laying off between 80 and 90 employees to trim costs as it shifts resources to focus more on designing and developing products under its own brand name. The move will eliminate around one-third of Fab's global staff and leave the company with 200 employees."

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The State of Fashion: Technology