SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Instacart said on Tuesday it hired Bangaly Kaba as vice president of growth from Facebook Inc’s Instagram as the grocery delivery startup tries to make itself a household name.
Kaba, who had been with Facebook since 2014, said in a statement to Reuters that his team helped double Instagram’s monthly users to more than 1 billion in about two years, and he saw the opportunity for similar growth at Instacart.
“While the two ‘Instas’ are inherently different products, I see the same growth potential in Instacart that I saw in Instagram’s early days,” he said.
As part of Instacart’s product organization, Kaba’s unit will be focused on attracting customers and turning them into paying members of a grocery service that competes with Amazon.com Inc and several boutique players to bring online grocery orders direct to Americans’ doorsteps.
Instacart’s previous growth chief left in September.
The company raised $ 871 million from investors, including U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global Management, in recent weeks, valuing the startup at nearly $ 7.9 billion.
(Reuters) – Etsy Inc on Thursday raised its full-year revenue growth forecast, boosted by an increase in its transaction fee for sellers, sending shares of the company surging 35 percent to a record high.
FILE PHOTO – A sign advertising the online seller Etsy Inc. is seen outside the Nasdaq market site in Times Square following Etsy’s initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq in New York April 16, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
The share jump pushed up the company’s market cap by $ 1.4 billion.
The site for handmade goods, which struggled after its initial public offering in 2015, began its turnaround effort after board member and former eBay executive Josh Silverman took charge as chief executive officer in May last year after ex-CEO Chad Dickerson stepped down.
Silverman came to Etsy amid concerns about slowing growth, poor functionality of the company’s website and the specter of competition from Amazon.com Inc, which launched a marketplace for handmade goods in 2015.
The company now expects revenue growth of 32 percent to 34 percent in 2018, up from its previous forecast of 22 percent to 24 percent. It also raised the higher end of its gross merchandise sales growth range.
Etsy’s share movement was in contrast to arts and crafts specialty retailer Michaels Cos Inc, which dropped 15 percent after it expected flat comparable sales in the second quarter and comparable sales growth of up to 1.5 percent in fiscal 2018.
Etsy, however has beaten average analysts’ estimates in every quarter since Silverman’s appointment to the helm. It missed estimates in the four quarters prior to his arrival.
The company’s shares have more than doubled in the last 12 months.
“Etsy management has improved its merchandising, which in turn has led to stronger merchant sales. As Etsy is doing more for the merchants, Etsy is able to charge more, especially since the fees were relatively cheaper than competitors,” analyst Ronald Bookbinder of IFS Securities said.
Etsy said it would increase the transaction fee it charges when a seller makes a sale to 5 percent from 3.5 percent. The new fee would apply to the cost of shipping.
The company said it plans to increase direct marketing spending by at least 40 percent in 2018 and revamp community platforms.
Etsy has shifted its focus to areas that are showing the most growth for the handmade marketplace, particularly on its core e-commerce site.
The company has improved its website’s search function and uses artificial intelligence to provide better product recommendations for customers. In 2017 the company also ran holiday promotions for the first time.
“They took that really good business model and fine tuned the engine and now they have got that engine firing on all cylinders,” D.A. Davidson & Co. analyst Tom Forte said.
Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Shounak Dasgupta
There is a little-watched and relatively obscure set of indicators produced by Thomson Reuters and Ipsos, called the primary consumer sentiment indexes. These provide a standardized approach to measuring consumer sentiment across a number of countries, and provide timely insight into consumer trends globally.
With the release of the May data this week I thought it would be good to take a quick look at the key trends in global consumer confidence (I have aggregated these indexes using GDP weights to provide a global as well as EM vs. DM view). Basically, global consumer sentiment has held up surprisingly well, which is a positive sign.
The key takeaways on the global consumer sentiment picture are:
-The global aggregate index of consumer sentiment strengthened in May.
-Global consumer sentiment held up well through the global equity market correction and actually strengthened vs. weakening seen in the manufacturing PMI.
-EM consumer confidence has been outperforming DM.
-Overall it supports a bullish global growth outlook.
1. Global Consumer Confidence vs. PMI and Global Equities: The May round of the Thomson Reuters/Ipsos consumer sentiment indexes (which I have aggregated based on IMF calculated PPP adjusted GDP weights), shows that globally the consumer is still doing well and if anything is going from strength to strength.
Interestingly, the global consumer confidence index held up well and actually strengthened through the global equity market correction and bucked the trend seen in the manufacturing PMI. So to my mind it is a nod to the underlying strength in the global economy.
2. Consumer Sentiment – EM vs. DM: Looking at the split between emerging vs. developed economies, the same picture of an apparent structurally different level (EM generally stronger) continued, but in terms of the signal, EM has continued its strengthening trend and in the month of May outperformed DM.
This one is also key as there has been some doubt around emerging markets as EM equities have seen substantial volatility and a reversal of previously hot fund flows.
Disclosure:I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
If you asked a CIO to sketch the ideal modern IT architecture on a few cocktail napkins, it might resemble the system fashioned by of the Dollar Shave Club (DSC), the men’s grooming ecommerce company that ascended from relative obscurity to prominence thanks to sound branding and this memorable YouTube clip.
Running in a public cloud, the startup uses 22 custom applications to run sales and marketing campaigns and customer service, as well as a recommendation engine. The custom-cloud combination embodies the type of IT environment CIOs say they would build if they had a green field devoid of crippling legacy architecture and technical debt.