Live commerce, which displays a live stream broadcast on an e-commerce site, is big business in China. Alibaba’s Taobao Live, which launched in May 2016, popularized this new style of online sales in China.
Live commerce — think QVC on the internet — allows customers to watch and shop simultaneously. These broadcasts could be hosted by company executives, presenters, or even celebrities.
By 2020 live commerce was instrumental in driving sales as Alibaba’s Taobao Live facilitated $7.5 billion worth of sales in a 30-minute window on Singles’ Day, China’s largest shopping day.
With China’s live commerce market growing at a 280% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) between 2017 and 2020, it’s no surprise that live commerce is starting to be tested outside of China.
Firework, founded in 2017, is a San Mateo-based company looking to push live commerce to a global audience.
The company’s core product range gives online sales the human touch through pre-recorded videos and live streaming technology to help a brand’s shoppers become more engaged, increasing the sell-through rate.
More and more companies are beginning to use live commerce platform providers. These providers are reaping the rewards of this trend as venture capitalists bet big on the future of online sales.
Upmesh and Drip have both raised millions of dollars for their live commerce ventures and Firework has now joined them, raising $150 million in Series B funding at a valuation of $750 million.
That $150 million now puts Firework’s total disclosed funding amount at $269.3 million.
After raising $55 million in a March 2021 funding round, Firework decided to acquire its exact-match .com, Firework.com.
According to Whois history, Firework.com was owned by an individual from the UK until the domain moved to a privacy-protected Amazon registrar account in August 2021.
For Firework, it marked a move away from a .tv domain. Before acquiring Firework.com, the company operated on Firework.tv, an adequate but limiting if Firework ever wants to move beyond offering video capabilities.
Acquiring Firework.com is more than a brand protection move for this successful company. It enforces Firework’s position as a leading innovator of the live commerce industry and helps potential customers instantly recognize that Firework is a name to trust.