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HomeTechLive streaming commerce firm Firework raises $150 million funding led by Softbank

Live streaming commerce firm Firework raises $150 million funding led by Softbank


Bengaluru: US-based live streaming commerce platform Firework has raised $150 million in a round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, the company said on Tuesday.

With the funds, the company aims to increase its headcount across engineering, product and marketing, while focusing on enhancements to its overall platform.

The latest raise values the short-video commerce platform at roughly $750 million. It has raised over $235 million in equity capital to date.

Firework raised $55 million in March 2021 from existing investors GSR Ventures, IDG and Lightspeed. It also raised an undisclosed amount from Amex Ventures last November.

Founded in 2017 by Vincent Yang and Jerry Luk, Firework helps retailers, consumer brands and publishers build engaging video experiences on their own, and operate digital properties and across channels at a global scale. It allows these brands to leverage various aspects of streaming commerce and monetise it.

“The capital will not only help us continue building success stories but also ensure that Firework never loses step with the bleeding edge of next-generation customer experience,” said Jeff Lucas, chief revenue officer, Firework, who was previously the global head of sales at Snap Inc.

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Firework works with the likes of Foods, Sugar Cosmetics, Big Bazaar, Boat, Fab India, The Man Company and Omnicom Media Group in India.

“SoftBank Investment Advisors brings deep knowledge and expertise with years of experience in the D2C space. Firework’s ambition to shape the next generation of internet and to become the infrastructure on which the next generation of the internet is built and run-will be driven by our shared vision,” said Sunil Nair, CEO of Firework India.

In China, livestream commerce generated over $300 billion in sales in 2021, representing approximately 12% of overall retail ecommerce sales in the country.

“Short videos and livestreaming are now the default language for the digital era, which is reshaping how consumers engage with brands and products online. Firework has assembled an impressive team in the digital commerce space and we’re thrilled to partner with them,” said Linda Yu, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. Yu has joined Firework’s board of directors as part of the transaction.

In India, short-video apps are actively looking to launch offerings for the live commerce segment.

In October 2021, Softbank-backed adtech giant InMobi’s video-sharing platform Roposo pivoted to live commerce. It was leveraging its recent acquisition of Shop101 to build commerce features. Its competitor ShareChat recently announced its entry into live commerce through its short-video app Moj. Social commerce unicorn Meesho is looking to launch live commerce later this year and is currently running pilots.

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