Kering and Goldman Sachs Invest in Aaron Levant’s NTWRK
Funding will further accelerate NTWRK’s growth and market expansion
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — NTWRK, North America’s leading livestream shopping platform, raised $50M led by the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management (Goldman Sachs), and global luxury group Kering, including participation from LionTree Partners and Tenere Capital. They join previous investors Main Street Advisors (whose investors include Jimmy Iovine, Drake, LeBron James), Live Nation, Foot Locker and others to further accelerate NTWRK’s growth, market share and global footprint.
NTWRK is a livestream video commerce marketplace aimed at Gen-Z and Millennial audiences. By providing a platform for creators to sell goods to and interact with consumers in real time, NTWRK is blending entertainment and commerce, giving brands, artists, and personalities the ability to create original content and sell exclusive product. The model of daily exclusive product drops, narrative-driven content, engaging hosts, seamless native purchasing, and social distribution creates a high-energy and wide-reaching experience for both buyers and sellers.
With the new funding, NTWRK will continue to define the virtual shopping experience by effectively catering to the growing digitally-native consumer market. Livestream commerce is positioned to be a multi-billion dollar industry and this investment will allow NTWRK to capitalize on its rapid growth and innovative model of blending commerce with content.
“Our vision is to become the biggest, most culturally relevant, livestream shopping marketplace for Gen-Z and Millennial audiences who are obsessed with pop culture,” says NTWRK CEO Aaron Levant. “It’s exciting for NTWRK to have Goldman Sachs and Kering sign on for the future of livestream shopping.”
“We are excited to support Aaron and the NTWRK team as they continue to innovate and define livestream shopping as an entertaining, social, and mobile way to engage with brands and creators. NTWRK’s highly curated offering and strong community support from buyers and sellers make them a leader within the nascent livestream shopping industry,” said Allison Berardo, a Vice President within the Growth Equity business, who will be joining the Board of Directors at NTWRK.
“As part of our innovation strategy, we are taking minority stakes in companies developing disruptive experiences and services for the next generation of luxury consumers. We think that live e-commerce is a way to address this audience, share our Maisons’ unique storytelling, and augment the selling ceremony online,” adds Gregory Boutté, Chief Client & Digital Officer at Kering.
The livestream shopping market in China reached $150 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $300 billion in 2021 (Coresight Research). Livestream shopping in the US is in its early stages, but is anticipated to reach $11 billion by the end of 2021 and $25 billion by 2025 (Coresight Research).
Since its inception in 2018, NTWRK has pioneered “Shopping at the Speed of Culture.” For its millions of users worldwide, NTWRK blends the hype factor of drop culture with entertaining content, live events and festivals, and exclusive products from the world’s most influental creators. Its unique platform gives brands and creators the ability to tell stories behind their most coveted products, with partnerships focused on demand creation and commercializing hype in new and exciting ways.
2021 continues to be a tremendous year of growth for the leading livestream shopping platform. Widely awarded by industry media, NTWRK has been named an “Ad Age Hottest Brand” of 2021; one of Fast Company’s “World’s Most Innovative Companies,” a Digiday “Most Innovative Brand,” and Adweek’s “Best Video Commerce Platform.”
Named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and Ad Age’s Hottest Brands, NTWRK is the premier North American livestream shopping platform where “entertainment meets e-commerce” (Forbes). Built on a digitally-innovative model of daily product drops, livestream shopping festivals and exclusive partnerships with world-renowned brands and creators, NTWRK has fostered an organic global community of artists and fans since its launch in 2018, providing a curated digital shopping experience for Gen-Z and Millennial consumers.
ABOUT GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT GROWTH EQUITY
Bringing together traditional and alternative investments, Goldman Sachs Asset Management provides clients around the world with a dedicated partnership and focus on long-term performance. As the primary investing area within Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), we deliver investment and advisory services for the world’s leading institutions, financial advisors and individuals, drawing from our deeply connected global network and tailored expert insights, across every region and market—overseeing more than $2 trillion in assets under supervision worldwide as of June 30, 2021. Driven by a passion for our clients’ performance, we seek to build long-term relationships based on conviction, sustainable outcomes, and shared success over time. Goldman Sachs Asset Management invests in the full spectrum of alternatives, including private equity, growth equity, private credit, real estate and infrastructure. Since 2003 the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management comprising more than 75 individuals has invested over $13 billion in companies led by visionary founders and CEOs. We focus exclusively on investments in growth stage and technology-driven companies spanning multiple industries, including enterprise technology, financial technology, consumer and healthcare. Follow us on LinkedIn.
A global Luxury group, Kering manages the development of a series of renowned Houses in Fashion, Leather Goods, Jewelry and Watches: Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux, as well as Kering Eyewear. By placing creativity at the heart of its strategy, Kering enables its Houses to set new limits in terms of their creative expression while crafting tomorrow’s Luxury in a sustainable and responsible way. We capture these beliefs in our signature: “Empowering Imagination”. In 2020, Kering had over 38,000 employees and revenue of €13.1 billion.