Tech Startup Nacelle Clinches $50M; Amazon Planning Brick And Mortar Shops

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Ecomm Dollar Signs

The pandemic fueled a massive shift to online buying, and investors are following the money. Tiger Global, the investment firm that led investments in DoubleVerify and Moloco, among other ad tech startups, put a $50 million round behind Nacelle, which provides “headless” ecommerce infrastructure, TechCrunch reports. The Los Angeles-based startup is a go-to among Shopify Plus merchants looking for headless solutions, which decouple the front end of a business from the back end, where live data is flowing, to ensure a smoother experience for the customer. Consider a restaurant: clean and orderly out front, even if there’s chaos in the kitchen. “Online shopping is not new, but how the customer relates to it keeps changing. The technology for online shopping is not up to snuff – when you click on something, everything has to reload compared to an app like Instagram,” said Nacelle CEO Brian Anderson. 

What’s In Store

Amazon plans to open a line of brick-and-mortar retail stores, starting with locations in California and Ohio, The Wall Street Journal reports. Amazon operates 20 bookstores in the US, not to mention the Whole Foods grocery chain. But the new department stores (which would be a third the size of a typical Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s store) might help Amazon break open categories like fashion and home appliances, where people try things before buying. The stores would also be a hub for ecommerce pickups and returns. The returns are particularly important, since Amazon is known for simple, free returns. The fashion chain Kohl’s has cited its partnership with Amazon – it allows Amazon returns at all locations – as an important foot traffic driver. And Amazon has helped itself by softening the competition, since its rise coincided with waves of legacy department store closings and bankruptcies. Amazon also now owns enough product brands to stock every aisle. 

Stormy iClouds

Apple announced at its Worldwide Developer Conference in June that it would make IP addresses untrackable for iPhone and iPad owners who are logged into iCloud and are using Apple services like Safari or the Apple Mail app. This change could be particularly tough for podcasters, because the IP address is the stand-in for an individual per download, according to the podcast ad tech newsletter Sounds Profitable. And Apple’s IP change doesn’t generate new addresses (so in theory one person could keep redownloading and appear a new listener each time); it lumps many listeners on one bum IP address. But who cares? How many people listen to podcasts on the Safari mobile browser or within their email app? Not many. But iCloud spans Apple’s entire hardware and software business. “It would be foolish to assume that there’s no future where Apple doesn’t extend Private Relay to include every outgoing connection from their iOS devices, or even their computers.”

But Wait, There’s More!  

Ad tech company Cavai raised £6.5M ($8.8M) to beef up its product suite and US expansion as it preps for an IPO. [New Digital Age

Google’s move to work with publishers to help them prepare for third-party cookie deprecation is a marked shift toward collaboration. [Digiday

How Big Tech is pushing augmented reality products for retail brands. [The Drum

Google promised an ecomm marketplace but then gave up. [Marketplace Pulse]

Advertisers have added more claims to a class-action complaint against LinkedIn over inflated metrics. [MediaPost]

Facebook is fixing its ad platform to address Apple’s data limits. [Ad Age

Crackle Plus and APX Content Ventures partner to launch an original series called “Inside the Black Box.” [release]

You’re Hired

Accenture named David Droga as CEO of Accenture Interactive. [WSJ]

Uber hired Elizabeth Windram as global head of mobility marketing. [Ad Age]

LoopMe appointed Rob Cukierman as GM of measurement and product partnerships. [release]

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