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Instacart Raises $400 Million
Instacart, a grocery delivery company, has raised $400 million in new funding. According to Forbes, this would value the company at more than $3 billion. Research from Cowen and Company found that most US digital grocery shoppers purchases groceries digitally from Amazon Prime. Just 4% do so from Instacart.
WeChat’s Gold Hongbao Find Success Among Users
WeChat’s users are fast adopting new “gold” digital gift packets, funds that track the price of gold that can be transferred over the popular chat platform in China. The new packets are based on digital red envelopes, or hongbao, traditionally gifted to friends and family during the Lunar New Year holiday that have already caught fire among WeChat users. According to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which backs the new product, WeChat users sent about RMB100 million ($15.05 million) worth of gold hongbao over the holiday period, demonstrating a willingness to embrace new financial technology products.
YouTube Sparks Cottage Industries in India
Writing for Tech in Asia, Durba Ghosh explained the phenomenon of female entrepreneurs in rural India who use YouTube to teach themselves to make crafts and then sell the resulting items. These enterprising young women make use of village centers that offer digital resources, including access to YouTube videos, from which they learn the fundamentals of email, digital transactions and opening a bank account. The program is intended, in part, to address the gender gap in internet use in India.
Yes, Americans Know About Podcasting
In a teaser for the upcoming release of their annual report, the “Infinite Dial 2017,” Edison Research revealed that six in 10 Americans over the age of 12 are aware of the term podcasting. Familiarity with podcasting, which took on a resurgence in 2014 after the release of “Serial” from the creators of “This American Life,” has crept up over the years. Edison estimates there will be 168 million US listeners in 2017.
Amazon Acquires Do.com
Amazon has acquired Do.com, a meeting productivity startup. The ecommerce giant is rolling Do.com into Chime, a “new communications suite for businesses,” which it launched last month, TechCrunch reports.
John Lewis Promotion Falls Afoul of UK Ad Standard
The Advertising Standards Authority this week reprimanded department store chain John Lewis for a Black Friday-timed website promotion that price-matched a competitor’s sale of Apple Watches. A complaint was logged with the UK advertising watchdog over John Lewis’ site being out-of-stock of the product the day of the promotion, but back in stock—at full price—the next day, which was also the day the competitor’s sale had ended.
US Millennials Use P2P Payments
A new report from ath Power Consulting, a provider of customer experience solutions for the financial services industry, indicates that 44% of US consumers use person-to-person (P2P) payments such as Venmo, and most users are millennials. However, although Venmo is a popular provider, over half of consumers would prefer their personal bank to process such payments, and only 8% favor nonbank service providers.
But wait, there’s more!
—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha, Rebecca Chadwick, Rimma Kats
Forget the notion that Gen X is a small market: It isn't. The real problem for marketers is that Xers—though now earning and spending more per household than other generations—are financially stressed. The good news? Their digital usage, along with their TV viewing, makes them eminently reachable.
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