Peanut Raises USD$5m in Funding; Jollychic Building Ecosystem in Middle East

Peanut

DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: Peanut raises USD$5m in funding; Jollychic building ecosystem in Middle East; and Loop fundraises to help brands with returns.

Peanut raises USD$5m in funding

Peanut, a London, UK-based social network for motherhood, has raised USD$5m in funding.

The round, brought total funding to USD$9.8m, was led by Index Ventures, which joined previous investors Sweet Capital, Greycroft, Sound Ventures (the venture firm founded by Ashton Kutcher), Female Founders Fund, Felix Capital and Partech.

Launched in 2017 by CEO Michelle Kennedy, Peanut is a social network for women to chat, connect and share advice across meaningful topics around motherhood.

It provides access to community by introducing women to peers nearby based on commonalities – interests, mutual friends, age/gender of children, and more. Once connected, women can chat and create group conversations. The community is a place to ask questions, create polls and share advice across meaningful topics such as ‘Motherhood’, ‘Pregnancy’, ‘Love & Sex’ etc.

Women can also create and join groups relating to specific interests or neighbourhoods. The company, which already boasts one million users, has also launched TTC (Trying To Conceive), a social community for women on their journey to conceive.

Jollychic building ecosystem in Middle East 

China’s e-commerce platform Jollychic, which is popular in the Middle East, has said that it aims to build a digital ecosystem across the region.

Speaking at the Misk Global Forum held in Riyadh on Wednesday, Jollychic Vice-President Dennis Du highlighted the uniqueness of the Middle East market. Du spoke at the session of “Facts, Figures and Fashion” at the forum, held under the theme “Work Reworked,” which focuses on discovering the new trends and transformation in the world of work.

“Now people are more aware of the potential of this region,” he said, taking Saudi Arabia for an example. The kingdom is embracing transformation in many aspects, which generates infinite potentials for the market, Du said.

“As a society and a market, you can see the huge change in this country, and this can be a fertile soil for companies like Jollychic,” he said. “As a company, we are a seed. The local market is fertile soil. The local government, with ambition and vision and pushing forward concrete policies, is the sunshine. All together they can make an ecosystem,” he added. 

Loop fundraises to help brands with returns

Loop Returns, the startup that helps brands handle returns from online purchases, has announced the close of a $10 million Series A funding round led by FirstMark Capital. Lerer Hippeau and Ridge Ventures also participated in the round.

Loop started when Jonathan Poma, a co-founder and COO and president, was working at an agency and consulting with a big Shopify brand on how to improve their system for returns and exchanges.

Loop sits on top of Shopify to handle all of a brand’s returns. It first asks the customer if they’d like a different size in the item they bought, quickly managing an exchange. It then asks if the customer would prefer to exchange for a new item altogether, depositing the credit in that person’s account in real time so they can shop for something new immediately.

If an exchange isn’t in the cards, Loop will ask the customer if they’d prefer credit with this brand over a straight-up refund.The goal, according to Poma and Morgan, is to turn the point of return into a moment where brands can create a life-loyal customer when handled quickly and properly.

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