Tandem to Launch in Hong Kong by End of the Year; WeWork and Uber Cause Huge SoftBank Losses

Tandem Hong Kong

DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: Tandem to launch in Hong Kong by end of the year; WeWork and Uber cause huge SoftBank losses; and Robinson Home Products partners with Delish.com.

Tandem to launch in Hong Kong by end of the year 

British digital lender Tandem is set to join rivals Monzo and Revolut with a push overseas, announcing plans to launch in Hong Kong by the end of the year.

Tandem provides credit cards and savings accounts to more than 800,000 customers in its home market. It bulked up at the start of last year by buying Harrods Bank, the banking arm of luxury department store Harrods, picking up a U.K. banking licence in the process.

The bank then struck a £15m investment deal with Hong Kong-based financial services group Convoy Global Holdings last November, paving the way for the expansion. It is unclear what regulatory approvals Tandem has obtained to date to operate in Hong Kong.

Digital banking rival Monzo launched in the U.S. in June, while online account provider Revolut officially launched in Singapore last month, as part of a wider expansion push that will target markets including the U.S., Canada and Japan.

WeWork and Uber cause huge SoftBank losses

SoftBank Group recorded a massive loss of USD$6.5bn in the third quarter, spurred by some of its biggest tech bets like Uber and WeWork.

Vision Fund 2

The Japanese investment firm, which has invested in numerous DTC brands and tech businesses, reported its first quarterly operating loss in 14 years, saying it plunged by 704bn Yen, or USD$6.46bn, in the July-to-September period.

It was operating on a profit of 706bn Yen, or USD$6.47bn in the same quarter in 2018. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son had taken huge financial risks by investing in startups like Uber and WeWork, the latter of which received more than USD$10bn in bailout money last month after failing to go public.

On Monday, the Financial Times reported that the Japanese magnate had told his colleagues he had “created a monster” in WeWork, whose co-founder Adam Neumann stepped down as CEO in September before the company shelved its initial public offering indefinitely.

Robinson Home Products partners with Delish.com

Robinson Home Products has launched a direct-to-consumer collection of Delish-branded kitchen and dining products in partnership with Delish.com, the recipe and food content website. Featuring brightly colored and ergonomically designed kitchen tools and gadgets, bakeware and dinnerware for the home chef, the new collection is inspired by Delish.com’s fun and creative food videos and recipes.

Roughly 65 products, primarily tools and gadgets, are currently available, with additional categories, such as tabletop, flatware and barware, to come later, Robinson Home said.

Delish, a media platform run by Hearst Magazines, has 34 million unique monthly visitors and 5 billion video views a year, giving Robinson Home’s new DelishEssentials.com store a wide new audience.

“This is our first foot in a direct-to-consumer initiative,” Robinson Home President Ross Patterson said. “It elevates Robinson from being a supplier to retail. Strategically, it’s a big shift. We’ve done the heavy lifting for retailers in the past [with drop shipping]. We will use the experience and what we’ve learned.” Although the products will be initially sold online only, they could potentially be offered to brick-and-mortar stores, Patterson said.

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