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Livestreaming commerce, future of shopping? SoftBank leads $150M round for Firework

Firework founders
Image credits: Firework

California-based Firework, a leading livestreaming commerce and digital transformation platform has nabbed $150 million in Series B funding. The financing round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 that recently backed AI Medical Service. With this round, the total investment raised by the company is over $235 million.

Firework has growth plans

Firework plans to use the funds to accelerate growth across a variety of metrics in pursuit of a bold, long-term vision to reshape the digital landscape with its decentralised infrastructure on which organisations can engage and transact with customers and audiences on their own properties and terms. In the near term, the company aims to increase talent acquisition in engineering, product and marketing, and deliver several enhancements to its overall platform.

“With this investment, our growth engine is firing on all cylinders,” said Firework Co-Founder and CEO Vincent Yang. “Our core technology and business model have already been proven in the market many times over, and with this capital to realize our vision, Firework can now focus most of our efforts on evolution and growth, in all its forms – growing our team, growing our user base, and growing our technology, to ensure the Firework platform never loses step with the bleeding edge of next-generation customer experience.”

“Short videos and livestreaming are now the default language for the digital era, which is reshaping how consumers engage with brands and products online,” said Linda Yu, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We believe Firework empowers businesses to use video to transform their websites into social and storytelling hubs so they can build deeper, long-term relationships with customers. Vincent and Jerry have assembled an impressive team in the digital commerce space and we’re thrilled to partner with them to build a next generation customer experience.”

As part of the transaction, Linda Yu has joined Firework’s Board of Directors. “We chose to work with SoftBank Investment Advisers for a multitude of reasons, from their unparalleled domain expertise in the ecommerce space to their extensive network,” said Firework Co-Founder and President Jerry Luk. “But above all else, we chose Softbank Investment Advisers because of their shared vision. We have big ambitions at Firework — to become the infrastructure on which the next-generation of the internet is built and run — and Softbank Investment Advisers supports that vision.”

Live streaming commerce platform

Firework was founded by Vincent Yang and Jerry Luk in 2017. It humanising the open web through the language of video. Leveraging shoppable video, live streaming commerce, and powerful monetisation capabilities, it empowers the world’s most dynamic and exciting retailers, consumer brands, and publishers to build engaging video experiences on their owned and operated digital properties and across channels at a global scale.

Firework enables organisations to bring new levels of authenticity and connection to online video experiences, speaking to digital natives in the language they understand fully and taking control of their own customer data.

With multiple blockbuster customer and partner acquisitions such as Albertsons Companies, The Fresh Market, and Omnicom Media Group and a strategic investment partnership with American Express Ventures, and numerous high-profile leadership hires in 2021, Firework has emerged as the clear frontrunner in the race to lead North America’s still-nascent livestream commerce market.

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