Bambuser, the Swedish startup specializing in the live-streaming of shopping, wants to raise 100 million crowns ($10.5 million USD) to expand its service as it comes west, according to Reuters. The move comes via a rights issue to fund the expansion, and would have the effect of doubling share prices, though it would be from a low level.
The company launched a service last September that enables brands to offer live shopping on their own websites. Live shopping involves paid brand representatives talking on camera during a live broadcast, allowing viewers to interact with them and purchase the product being featured. Like similar live-streamers who film themselves playing video games in real time, the service has proved wildly popular.
In China, the trend is booming. For China’s Singles’ Day last November, about half of merchants on retail site Tmall used live-stream shopping, selling almost 20 billion yuan ($2.9 billion USD) worth in goods, according to parent company Alibaba Group.
Bambuser said its new service will aim to be profitable within the next two years.
In a statement, the company said the rights issue would allow for the expansion of its operation within the sphere of live-video shopping. Bambuser noted that current shareholders had already agreed to sign up for a total of 52 million crowns.
Thus far, Bambuser has announced collaborations with some Nordic beauty and apparel companies for live-stream shopping. It had the distinction Monki, a brand of number-two worldwide fashion retailer H&M, making a broadcast via the service last year.
Recently, the company announced that it will be partnering with Italian online luxury fashion retailer LUISAVIAROMA. Following the announcement of the partnership last week, Bambuser shares rocketed to a double-digit gain within the same day.
On Monday (Jan. 20), Bambuser also announced that it was working with experts from China for strategic advice, which could signal its intent to move into the Chinese market that loves the services the company offers.
Facebook and Amazon have announced live-stream shopping features on their respective apps, and Snapchat is getting in on the game with a shopping function as well.