Gap Inc. has acquired Drapr, a startup company that creates 3D avatars to enable customers to try on clothes virtually.
The move may help Gap reduce the rate of returns as e-commerce continues to boom. Since early 2020, when consumers flocked to digital channels to make purchases as physical stores temporarily shut down and lockdown measures went into effect to reduce the spread of COVID-19, returns from online purchase have skyrocketed. Roughly $102 million of merchandise purchased online was returned in 2020—more than double from 2019, RIS News reported.
“Fit is the number one point of friction for customers and, through their advanced 3D technology, Drapr has shown it can help shoppers efficiently find the size and fit they need,” said Sally Gilligan, chief growth transformation officer at Gap Inc. “We plan to leverage Drapr to help Gap Inc. improve the fit experience for our customers and accelerate our ongoing digital transformation.”
The acquisition also comes on the heels of a new initiative from Old Navy, which is owned by Gap, called “Bodequality” to offer every one of its women’s styles, in every size, with no price difference. Virtual fitting room technology can help customers ensure they are finding the right size.
Trove, a recommerce company that works with brands to take control of their resale marketplaces, has raised $77.5 million in a Series D funding round.
Trove powers circular shopping for lululemon, Patagonia, REI, Nordstrom, Levi’s, Eileen Fisher, Arc’teryx and other leading brands. The company provides the technology for brands to have their own resale platforms. The company processed nearly 1 million unique items and managed more than10 million catalog records in 2020.
Trove’s total funding to date has now reached $122.5 million, with the latest round led by G2 Venture Partners. Other investors in the Series D include Bank of Montreal, Capital One Ventures, Commerce Ventures, Wellington Management and all of Trove’s existing board investors.
The funding highlights the growth of resale, aka recommerce, over the last several years. Several major brands have introduced their own recommerce plans over the last year, including lululemon and Nike.
Trove plans to use the new funds to expand its roster of brand partners, branch into the luxury resale space and enter the European market. The funding round comes at a time when the resale space is booming, with recommerce expected to make up 14% of the apparel, footwear and accessories market by 2024, or roughly $60 billion, up from about 7% in 2020, Trove noted.
Social Commerce Platform Flip Raises $28M
Flip, a social commerce platform that connects shoppers to products and content through video reviews, has raised $28 million in a Series A funding round.
The company, which is based in Los Angeles, plans to use the funding to scale its brand offering and creator ecosystem, as well as deepen its end-to-end logistics platform. The funding was led by Streamlined Ventures, with participation from Mubadala Capital Ventures and BDMI also participated in the round, early backers and angel investors
Flip leverages social media to bring the shopper experience to its app, merging social discovery through user-generated product reviews and live shopping shows. The platform picks up on several emerging trends, including livestream shopping and the popularity of social media platform TikTok. Flip also offers same-day shipping.
In addition to raising $28 million, the company announced commissioned video reviews for its users, letting users monetize their content like other social media platforms. Users can either translate earnings into FLIP credits or transfer funds to their bank accounts.