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First Round Capital promotes Cyber Monday deals

After record breaking Black Friday sales, even VCs want a piece of the action

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 26, 2012 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2bf4

This has been record-breaking holiday season, with e-commerce absolutely exploding on both Thanksgiving Day and on Black Friday. With sales reaching numbers never seen before, you can forgive retailers for finding yet another way to extend that shopping even further. Now, with Cyber Monday, there are even more deals meant to entice customers into handing over their money.

Interestingly, it is not just retailers who are promoting shopping now, but venture capitalists as well.

Venture Capital firm First Round Capital has launched a new website that will feature exclusive Cyber Monday deals from companies the firm has invested in, it was announced Wednesday,

“At First Round Capital, we’ve been big believers in the future of online commerce - and over the past few years have invested in many eCommerce companies, all at the seed stage,” First Round Partner Josh Kopelman wrote.

“These companies have now go on to to raise over $350,000,000 in follow on capital and will be shipping hundreds of thousands of products this holiday season to customers all over the world. Whether it’s Birchbox with discovery through subscription, Fab with curation, or Modcloth building a brand, these companies have set out to redefine traditional eCommerce models while building a product consumers truly love - and we couldn't be more excited about what we're going to see in the next few years.”

There are 25 participating companies, including Threadflip, which is offering a 20% off coupon; Fab, which is offering free shipping; Dogvacay, which is offering $25 off; TaskRabbit, which is offering $35 toward the site; Liftopia, whichis offering $10 off; UrbanSitter, which is offering $40 off; One Kings Lane, which is offering $15 off; and Poppin, which is offering a free box of ballpoint pens.

E-commerce sales are up this year, and promoting its investments in this way is a brilliant move on First Round's part. There is no downside here: it can only help the companies it has a stake in drive sales, increasing those company's bottom lines so First Round can reap the rewards with higher valuations.

Record e-commerce sales

E-commerce spending on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday both exploded this year.

Online shopping on Thanksgiving went up 17.8% compared to last year, and mobile was a large part of that.

Of the total Web traffic to retailers’ sites, nearly one-third, or 28.5%, came from mobile devices.  By comparison, mobile only accounted for 16.2% of traffic on Thanksgiving last year. Consumers who shopped from mobile devices accounted for 15.4% of all online purchases.

Mobile users checked out an average of seven Web pages, and mobile and e-commerce shoppers alike purchased an average of 3.67 items.

Both eBay and PayPal saw huge gains in the number of mobile payments on Thanksgiving. For eBay, there was a 133% increase in mobile transactions on Thanksgiving compared to 2011. That number was even higher for PayPal, which saw transactions for go up a whopping 173% in the U.S.

Overall sales were even better on Black Friday this year, with 57 million Americans visiting online retail stores on Friday for record e-commerce sales. 

ComScore reported that Black Friday saw more than $1 billion in online sales, marking an increase of 26%.  It also represents the heaviest day of online sales to date in 2012—and, of course, it’s the first time that Black Friday has topped $1 billion in online sales.  Last year, Black Friday raked in $816 million.

Amazon was the most visited retail site on Black Friday, followed by Walmart.com, Best Buy, Target, and Apple.  The top selling product category was digital content and subscriptions, which was up 29% on Black Friday.

(Image source: http://gifts.firstround.com/)


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