Talkshoplive, a startup whose a livestreaming ecommerce platform has attracted a roster of celebrities and businesses to host their own QVC-style shopping channels, announced that it has closed $6 million in follow-on seed funding.
The funding gives L.A.-based Talkshoplive a valuation of $75 million, sources familiar with the funding told Variety.
The seed extension funding round was led by venture capital firm Raine Ventures and a syndicate of angel investors that include Matt Blank, former chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks, and David Levy, chairman of Genius Sports and former president of Turner.
The new funding brings the startup, founded in 2018, to $10.5 million raised to date. Talkshoplive’s first seed investment round, announced earlier this year, was led by VC firm Spero Ventures.
Celebs and brands that have launched their own Talkshoplive channels include Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, Alicia Keys, Julie Andrews, Meghan Trainor, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Fred Segal, Tim Tebow, Kristin Cavallari, Tim McGraw, Jenna Dewan, Kathy Ireland Worldwide, Nancy O’Dell and Best Buy.
In addition, Talkshoplive last month launched live shopping events with both Hearst’s Oprah Daily and Condé Nast’s Bon Appétit, with an embedded video and ecommerce player in each publication’s website.
Talkshoplive co-founder and CEO Bryan Moore touted the investment from Raine Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Raine Group, which has expertise in media, entertainment, commerce and distribution. “Raine’s experience in evolving consumer trends to mainstream global behaviors is both differentiated and is the perfect match for TSL’s next phase of growth,” Moore said in a statement.
Moore said Talkshoplive will use the new financing to accelerate the expansion of TSL’s embeddable player network, as well as staff up product management and technical teams. In the first half of 2021, the company’s sales have grown on average 85% month over month; Talkshoplive says Q1 2021 sales increased 440% compared with the year-earlier quarter (but the privately held startup isn’t disclosing actual numbers).
Raine Ventures reviewed different live commerce strategies in the U.S. before opting to back Talkshoplive, according to Raine Ventures managing partner Gordon Rubenstein. “We believe that Talkshoplive has a differentiated technology and strategy that will continue to drive adoption of live commerce,” Rubenstein said.
Other individual investors who joined the seed extension financing include Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti, founder of Vivre and V by Eva and an adviser to Raine Group; Jeff Lotman, CEO of Global Icons (owner of fashion retailer Fred Segal); Andrew Rosen, founder of Theory; Austin Rosen, founder of Electric Feel Entertainment; and Richard Rosenblatt, founder of Whip Media, Demand Media, Intermix and iMall.
On Talkshoplive’s livestreaming channels, sellers showcase their products via live shows — à la QVC or HSN — discussing product details in real-time. Viewers who have set up an account with TSL can purchase products with a single click on the “buy” button. Shoppable video content created on Talkshoplive also can be shared and embedded on multiple sites and social platforms.
Moore, before founding Talkshoplive with his sister Tina Moore, was supervising producer of social media at “Entertainment Tonight” and founded the social media division at 20th Television (formerly 20th Century Fox Television).
Separately Thursday, startup Popshop Live — a Talkshoplive competitor — announced a Series A round of about $20 million in funding, giving it a valuation of $100 million. Popshop Live’s funding was led by Benchmark with other investors including TQ Ventures — the investment firm founded by Scooter Braun, Andrew Marks and Schuster Tanger– The Chainsmokers’ Mantis VC and Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries.