Recent Posts



Making it easier to buy stuff online will drive growth

Kieran O’Neill, founder of our portfolio company Thread likes to quote Paul Graham saying ‘if you make something easier for people to do, they will do more of it’. At Thread Kieran is making it easier to buy fashion and as a result the majority of his customers report that they spend more on clothes after [...]

Great slides showing the potential in ecommerce

Business Insider has just published a great deck showing the potential in ecommerce. We’re focused on the ecommerce ecosystem, so I guess I would say this anyway, but the opportunity is truly exciting. TL;DR ecommerce is a juggernaut already, still growing fast and with miles to go. Billions of dollars of retail are coming [...]

eCommerce investment growing rapidly

I’m loving CBInsights at the moment. They keep churning out great data. The latest is this chart showing growth in eCommerce investment:

This is a good growth story. Ordinarily I would say that the 2011 peak suggests otherwise, but 2011 was the year of the Groupon clone frenzy and we can safely regard it [...]

Waitrose invests to make offline shopping more convenient

Huge range and the convenience of shopping delivered to your door are the main axes on which ecommerce businesses have sought to compete with their offline counterparts. Waitrose is now fighting back by improving the convenience of their in-store experience.

They already have a system called Quick Check which allows shoppers to scan their food as they [...]

Today ecommerce saves customers money and time tomorrow it will accelerate discovery

I’ve just re-read Jeff Bezos 1997 letter to shareholders. It’s a great example of clear story telling and bold strategy, but most importantly Bezos’ judgement is amazing, and much of it stands the test of time. The title of this post is a bastardisation of this quote from the letter:

Today, online commerce saves customers [...]

US ecommerce sales forecast at $294bn this year, growing 9.5%

New forecasts out from Forrester predict that online retail sales in the US will be $294bn this year, rising to $414bn by 2018. The growth rate from 2013-2018 is forecast to be 9.5%. Better still, even after this growth online retail in the US will only be 11% of total retail sales, up from 9% [...]

Drones will impact ecommerce from 2017

This chart is taken from a presentation to DemoLabs by Helen Greiner, founder and CEO of CyPhy works and formerly of iRobot. It’s a capability timeline for drones.

At Forward Partners we invest in the ecommerce ecoystem and one of the sub-areas is innovative product companies building their brands online. [...]

Andreessen Horowitz seed investments by sector – ecommerce in front

Yesterday CBInsights published an analysis of Andreessen Horowitz’s investments. From our perspective as ecommerce seed investors the industry split was the most interesting chart because ecommerce was on top.

The chart above is for all their seed investments since 2010 and is a firm vote for ecommerce, although it would be interesting to [...]

Improving checkout conversion

Think about the chart above for a moment. It’s showing that 50-80%+ of people who have got far enough through the purchase process to click on the checkout button then decide not to buy. That’s huge. Another way of looking at this data is to say that poor conversion of the [...]

Human brands and strong mobile presences have driven success at many of today’s hottest startups

Yesterday I posted charts showing that from a top down market size perspective there is a big opportunity in ecommerce. Today I’m quoting a VentureBeat article which takes the bottom up approach, looking at the characteristics of companies that have recently enjoyed a lot of success, characteristics I believe the next generation of successful [...]