Platforms

‘A monstrous market’: Whatnot co-founder Grant Lafontaine on what’s next for the livestream shopping unicorn

In less than two years, Whatnot has become the most valuable independent livestream shopping company in the U.S. The platform for collectible trading cards, comic books and toys just raised $150M in a Series C round from venture capital firms, valuing it at $1.5 billion. Whatnot co-founder Grant Lafontaine spoke with Modern Retail about the future of livestream e-commerce, what draws investors to the space, and how his company plans to preserve its identity even as it plots its live video takeover.

Latest Stories

  • SEP 14, 2021

    Singapore’s Shopee eyes global expansion with a gamified approach to e-commerce

    Southeast Asia’s biggest e-commerce company Shopee is reportedly headed to Poland, India and Argentina — three markets that fit squarely into its focus on rapidly digitizing economies. But the Singapore-based company may have difficulty scaling.

  • SEP 10, 2021

    ‘A solution in search of a problem’: Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories are the fashionable smart glasses that consumers still might not want

    On Thursday, Facebook rolled out its first smart glasses model, Ray-Ban Stories, in partnership with glasses design house, EssilorLuxottica, for $299. While Facebook’s partnership may fix one issue formerly plaguing the wearable tech industry – clunky, ugly styles – analysts are still skeptical that iteration will drive widespread consumer adoption.  

  • SEP 09, 2021
    The header image shows a puzzle with each piece spelling out Amazon.

    Amazon Briefing: The B-to-B marketplace opportunity

    Amazon aggregators are beginning to turn to B-to-B sellers for growth. But in focusing on this segment, aggregators are also underscoring just how big of an opportunity B-to-B has quietly become for Amazon -- and Amazon sellers -- writ large.

  • SEP 07, 2021

    Brands are tiptoeing into Discord

    A closed, decentralized ecosystem like Discord might not seem like a place for brands to flock to. But in recent months, a growing number -- including those outside of the gaming world -- have begun testing the platform. Resale site StockX debuted a Discord server in June, and brands like AllSaints, Chipotle and Jack in the Box have all hosted events and Q&As in their own Discord servers.

  • SEP 03, 2021

    For food delivery services, private label is the next battleground

    This summer, two delivery services -- GoPuff and DoorDash -- have each taken preliminary steps toward deploying private-label food products. GoPuff, for instance, launched its own line of ghost kitchens -- or food preparation hubs without storefronts attached -- from which the company plans to produce meals from existing brands as well as its own private-label recipes.

  • SEP 02, 2021

    Amazon Briefing: Tightening inventory limits continue to make sellers nervous

    In its quest to become everything to its customers and its sellers -- the company that both controls the plurality of retail sales in the U.S. and manages shipping and fulfillment for an ever-larger share of its millions of sellers -- Amazon might, in some ways, have over-promised what it can handle.

  • SEP 01, 2021

    Feeling a profit crunch, buy now pay later services bet on advertising

    As buy now pay later services achieve ubiquity across e-commerce, they are looking to advertising as a new revenue stream. Last week, Afterpay announced the launch of its in-house ad network, which it is calling Afterpay Ads. . For these companies, advertising is a way to earn back their losses elsewhere -- and convince retailers to pay more for their services.

  • AUG 31, 2021

    Galaxy Live is betting on influencers and resale to stand out in the crowded livestream shopping space

    For years, creators and influencers have relied on ad-based revenue and sponsorship deals to earn an income on social platform, such as Instagram and YouTube. This has resulted in a select few influencers becoming sought-after, while many micro-influencers struggle to monetize their content without big brand deals. Now, new live streaming resale platform Galaxy wants to attract these creators with a revenue-sharing model.

  • AUG 27, 2021

    How Walmart’s new DSP aims to take on Amazon

    A soon-to-launch demand side advertising platform allows Walmart to use the first-party data it has already amassed on U.S. shoppers in order to reach them across the web. With it, Walmart is able to give brands granular data about each shopper even when they aren’t on the Walmart platform, a fact that also lets brands re-target customers who might have viewed their product but didn’t make a purchase.

  • AUG 26, 2021

    Amazon Briefing: The great physical retail pivot

    Amazon’s department store plan, if it does come to fruition, underscores something else: Amazon, which until recently was a purely e-commerce operation, has ramped up its investment in physical retail stores over the past three years. In addition to department stores, it’s in the process of building close to 40 Fresh grocery stores in the near future, which add to its total of 30 Go convenience stores and 24 Amazon Books stores.

  • AUG 26, 2021

    Hot tubs and hardcore gamers: How Twitch is trying to stay brand-friendly as it expands beyond gaming

    A significant challenge for Twitch as it tightens its moderation policies is content like hot tub streams, which dance on the edge of acceptability.

  • AUG 24, 2021
    Q&A

    StockX CMO on how Gen Z is shaping the platform’s growth strategy

    The pandemic helped bring resale into the mainstream, with several platforms benefiting from the trend of young consumers buying and selling goods. One company that's experienced an influx in users, both young and outside the Gen Z demographic, is StockX. While the platform began as a go-to for rare, hard-to-find sneakers, StockX is working to diversify its partnerships and offerings to cater to a global audience.

  • SEP 13, 2021
    Sponsored

    Back to school 2021: What happened and what it means moving forward

    Watch this on-demand webinar where experts discuss the changes to the back-to-school season and what it means for retailers now and in the future.

Modern Retail Summit
Oct 12–Oct 14, 2021

At the Modern Retail Summit, retail executives will come together to discuss effective strategies for driving sales by building a loyal customer base both online and offline.

Book Passes