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Why e-commerce startups aren’t raising more funding during this historic boom

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After yesterday’s look into the somewhat lackluster pace of investment into e-commerce-focused startups this year, a few VCs sent in notes that added useful context. So this morning let’s discuss why the pace of e-commerce startup fundraising has been so milquetoast in 2020.


The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.


To frame the oddity of e-commerce startups not raising a flood of cash during what are historic boom times, we noted Walmart’s staggering online sales growth in Q2, which TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez broke out into a separate piece. Today, for a soupçon more, Target reported its Q2 earnings. Its results are similar to Walmart’s own, if even more extreme.

The American retailer reported that its “store comparable” sales were up 10.9% in the quarter, which was rather good. But Target also reported that its “digital comparable sales grew 195%,” which is staggering. Target’s revenue mix moved from 7.3% digital in its year-ago quarter to 17.2% in its most recent.

Damn.

If you’ve been around the internet lately, you can’t help but trip over more data detailing this extraordinary moment in e-commerce history — there are years of change happening in just a quarter’s time. For a taste, former Andreessen denizen Benedict Evans has some great data on U.S. and U.K. e-commerce growth, and here’s yet another great chart to chew on. It goes on and on.

So the e-commerce boom is real, and the startup funding funk is as well, per the data we ingested yesterday via CB Insights. What gives? GGV’s Jeff Richards had an idea, and we chatted with Canaan’s Byron Ling as well. We’ve also done a little digging into some of the largest, recent e-commerce rounds to get some flavor on who is raising in the space. Ready?

If you recall, our thesis yesterday was that, perhaps, the kill zone theory often posited concerning Amazon meant that the e-commerce space is less investable than we’d otherwise imagine and that because some things are “sorted” to a degree, there is less green space available in the sector for startups to tackle.

Bits of that might be right.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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