Shopify has officially launched ads in the Shopify app store. The e-commerce company is opening a new marketing channel to help app developers increase conversion rates in the app store by offering ad space where shoppers are actively looking for apps. Developers using the platform can bid on keywords in an auction that determines which ads will be displayed. Ads will be selected based on relevance, in a process aided by price dynamics wherein the most relevant ads will have to pay less to compete in bidding. Campaigns can be tracked and analyzed in the Partner Dashboard where advertisers can determine cost per install and more.
On Thursday, a United States judge officially granted Amazon.com Inc’s submission to temporarily stop the Department of Defense’s JEDI contract with Microsoft from moving forward, a cloud computing deal worth $10 billion. Amazon was considered to be the best suited cloud computing provider to take on the project, but the Defense Department selected Microsoft in a decision described in the Amazon lawsuit as being influenced by “improper pressure from President Donald Trump, who launched repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks.”
This week, the FTC announced a set of probes will be conducting a “wide-ranging study” on small scale acquisitions completed over the past 10 years that may have played a role in building the anti-competitive nature of today’s biggest tech giants. Acquisitions small enough to avoid premerger reviews by the FTC and DOJ completed between 2010 and 2019 by Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook, will be considered in the study. The results will measure their impact overtime and will inform regulators on how the premerger process should be conducted moving forward. According to reports, each of the tech firms being investigated have been accused of using their power in the market to buy-out potentially unwilling young firms that posed a competitive threat. In a press conference, FTC Chairman Joseph Simons stated, “If during this study we see that there are transactions that turn out were problematic, all of our options are on the table.”
In other news, European venture capital firm Oxx, has raised $133 million to invest in the region’s most promising SaaS companies. With lower levels of VC investment per capita, Oxx wants to capitalize on the “increasing number of founders starting their second, third or even fourth B2B software business” according to TechCrunch. Leading funding rounds starting at Series A, exclusively with European B2B SaaS businesses, the firm will invest anywhere from $5-20M in “scale-up stage” companies. Companies Oxx has previously backed include performance monitoring tool Apica, and marketing automation platform Funnel.
New in FE exclusive listings, this week we have an Affiliate opportunity in the Home Goods and Lifestyle niche listed at $280,000. This portfolio is comprised of four growing content businesses offering informative product reviews and how-to guides spanning the topics of home care and maintenance, cooking, lifestyle, and fitness. The portfolio has a strong SEO foundation with rankings for c.37,000 keywords which have attracted over 260,000 combined visitors in the LTM. With a firm foothold in a thriving niche, this listing presents a profitable acquisition opportunity for a new owner. If you are interested in this business, please visit the link above to request a prospectus.
In events news, the FE International team thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet with fellow peers from the finance and capital advisory space at NYC Deal Connect last week. The team also had a great time meeting with those in the e-commerce space at the NYC Shopify meetup, to discuss the latest trends in the sector.
Finally, tomorrow is the last day to purchase Early Bird Tickets for LTV Conf 2020 from May 18-20 in San Francisco, so visit the LTV Conf website at the link above and use discount code FENEWSLETTER for 10% off your purchase before the sale ends!
Call for Entry: SaaS Mag has opened its application for the 2020 SaaS 1000 list! If you think you’re company deserves to be ranked among the top growing SaaS companies, then be sure to apply by February 29, 2020!
Continue reading below for more on Shopify, FTC Probes, Oxx and more!
- Growing content portfolio in an evergreen niche
- Strong SEO presence with keywords ranking for c.37,000 keywords
- Steady traffic profile with over 260,000 visitors combined in the L12M
- A lean cost structure enabling minimal owner involvement and high net margins
Yearly net profit: $96,000
Asking price: $280,000
- Firm foothold in the historically well-performing gardening and outdoors niche
- Impressive traffic growth with c.200,000 page views in the last 3 months and over 5,000 social media followers
- Rapid revenue growth with annualized revenue of c.$50,000
- Extensive content library of c.200 information-packed articles helping secure keyword rankings for c.40,000 keywords
Yearly net profit: $50,000
Asking price: $150,000
In the News…
Shopify Rolls-Out Ads in the App Store
App developers can now post ads on the Shopify App Store. Will more than 3,000 apps in the store today, the new feature will make it easier for apps to stand out as devs can promote their platforms where shoppers are actively looking for apps. Merchants selling their apps on the platform have the option to bid for keywords. Price dynamics help the most relevant ads be displayed as the price for bidding decreases for the most relevant ads. Users can track the performance of ads in the Partner Dashboard.
Big Tech Small Acquisition Probe
Another set of antitrust investigations are being launched to look into small scale acquisitions made by giant tech corporations over the last ten years. These transactions were below a certain dollar threshold allowing them to proceed with out premerger review by the FTC and DOJ. These deals were considered too small to alarm officials of anti-trust activity, but the accumulation of these acquisitions over time may prove otherwise. The probe’s main purpose is to inform regulators on how the premerger process should be carried out in the future but officials from the FTC says is the investigation should discover evidence of anti-competitive practices, enforcement would be informed.
European VC Raises $133M to Invest in SaaS
New European Venture capital group Oxx has earned $133 million in funding and the firm plans to invest in the region’s top SaaS startups. According to TechCrunch, founders Richard Anton and Mikael Johnsson explain the firm’s investment thesis outlines five core themes including “future of work,” “user empowerment,” “sustainable business,” “data convergence & refinery,” and ” financial services infrastructure.” Oxx claims it differentiates itself from Silicon Valley VCs by putting sustainable business ahead of growth as opposed to having a “rigid Silicon Valley mindset.”