Recent Posts



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 [...]

Two charts showing the opportunity in ecommerce



We all know that ecommerce penetration has been growing fast. This first chart shows how fast – US penetration was up 54% to 6.0% from 2007-12. Put another way that’s a CAGR in online sales of around 15%. That level of growth is projected to continue going forward.

The growth won’t [...]

77% of the UK online population engages in online communities

The graphic above and associated research published back in 2012 by the BBC blows apart the old idea that online users split 1% writers, 9% commenters and 90% readers  (hat tip to Alan Patrick for the pointer). It turns out that it was the difficulty of engaging that was [...]

eCommerce penetration is growing and growing

The chart above shows clearly how ecommerce penetration continues to grow and grow in the US. It’s the same story over here in the UK, where ecommerce penetration reached 20% over Christmas (including click and collect).

The varying penetration by category points to where the opportunity for startup lies these days – i.e. food, [...]

Delivery drones – coming soon to a home near you..

Regular readers will know that I’m interested in robots. I think they will transform many elements of business and society over the next twenty years so I was very interested to read about Jeff Bezos announcement that Amazon has been experimenting with drone delivery and hopes to put the service live as early [...]

Advanced robotics will transform retail

Advanced robotics offers what is perhaps the most exciting near term investment opportunity that I learnt about at Singularity University last week. Let me illustrate with an example. It is now possible to measure someone for a very high quality custom bike frame, and then have robots cut the steel tubes and then weld [...]

The UK loves to shop online

Kissmetrics have just issued a Mega Guide to eCommerce with the following chart.

As a UK based investor we are keen on areas where we have an advantage over other startup ecosystems, and this chart shows that we punch way above our weight in ecommerce. On a per capita basis the 2013 projections work [...]