b8ta, an experiential retail start-up, raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Evolution Ventures.
WHO: Founded in 2015, b8ta pioneered the category known today as retail-as-a-service, in which brands can access physical retail as easily as they buy digital advertising, and consumers can discover, try, and buy the world’s most innovative products in real life. b8ta helps people discover, try, and learn about new tech and innovative products while empowering makers with a simple retail-as-a-service model that puts them in control. Its mission is to make retail accessible for all. When makers have easy, direct access to physical retail, customers will, in turn, have unbiased access to what the world is creating.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “Stores today are serving as story-telling platforms for brands rather than sales channels,” said Vibhu Norby, cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of b8ta. “Product discovery and sales happen in different places. We are at the very beginning of the age of experiential retail, a post-e-commerce era that will change the way we all shop for decades to come. Our latest round allows us to meet the global demand for our stores and software.”
- b8ta raised $50 million in Series C funding.
- The funding round was led by Evolution Ventures with participation from existing investors including Macy’s, Khosla Ventures, Peak State Ventures, and others.
- The company currently has more than 1,000 brands on its platform and will operate 25 flagship locations globally by the end of 2019.
- The company is launching Ark and the Ark Marketplace, a tech platform that enables retailers and retail landlords to use b8ta store technology to monetize their spaces.
- To date, b8ta’s retail footprint has seen over 50 million product engagements and launched more than 1,000 brands on its platform.
- By the end of 2019, b8ta will operate 25 flagship locations worldwide—including its first international location in Dubai opening this December—equal to more than 45,000 square feet of experiential retail space, nearly doubling its retail footprint this year.
- b8ta also has more than doubled its store traffic in 2019, with more than three million visitors across its flagships.
Photo: via b8ta