We don't write stories about every funding round related to marketing and advertising, but several raises this week are worth pointing out because they illustrate evolutions in several key emerging areas.
In a sign of where the world of Web3 commerce is heading, New York-based Novel Commerce on Tuesday raised $6 million in seed funding to help brands, content creators and retailers create and sell NFTs. And Fabricant, which helps make clothing for the metaverse, raised a $14 million Series A round—timely, considering how companies like Roblox, Decentraland and Epic continue to gain traction with new users and brands in the digital space.
It's been an active week on the e-commerce front, too. On Thursday, SamCart announced an $82 million Series B round to continue building out its sales platform for content creators. On Tuesday, Wholesum raised a $50 million Series A to fuel M&A of various lifestyle, health and pet brands. Meanwhile, RITMO, a Madrid-based fintech company, says it has raised $200 million to help fund e-commerce startups in Europe and Latin America.
Disparate as they might appear, all these announcements show a growing focus on the future of what people create, sell and buy online. As McKinsey recently pointed out, virtual goods have grown from $5 billion in sales in 2015 to $60 billion or $70 billion in 2021. (Plenty more to say about all of this, but we're going to keep it short and sweet this week and save everything else for another day.)
Plagued by unresolved supply chain problems, companies are already stocking up for the holiday season to avoid last year's delay. But as retailers order early—or order more than they did last year to compensate—the result can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Mastercard CMO Raja Rajamannar Talks Marketing And The Metaverse
During Grammy Week this month, Mastercard made its Roblox debut in collaboration with The Recording Academy. And although the Web3 era is still in its infancy, Mastercard Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Raja Rajamannar says branding in virtual worlds will go from being "a shiny new penny" to seeing a "significant jump" in just a few years.
"This is one of those game-changing moments where every aspect of Web3 we should actually explore the possibilities for marketing. Both in terms of marketing in those spaces, marketing components of those particular spaces as well as marketing real-world things in those spaces...There are so many straight lines that can be drawn from the real world to the metaverse."
Chief Marketing And Communications Officer, Mastercard