The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
Funds from Spanish investor group will go to developing its consumer channel.
Alice.com has received $3.6 million in funding from a group of Spanish investors that will be applied to e-commerce and customer service in the retailer’s consumer business. The investor group was not identified.
The investment follows by about six months Alice.com’s acquisition of Koto.com, a start-up e-marketplace headquartered in Spain, for an undisclosed amount. Alice.com, No. 467 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, then launched its Spanish e-commerce site, Alice.es, in October 2011, which expanded Alice.com’s direct-to-consumer marketplace to a European audience.
The current funding round brings the total amount raised by Alice.com since November 2008 to $18.2 million.
“Over the past several months we have experienced significant momentum and promising sales numbers as more consumers realize they can shop for household essentials online,” says Brian Wiegand, Alice.com CEO and co-founder. “2012 will be a big year for us as we focus on enhancing our customer benefits, and create new and exciting opportunities for our consumer packaged goods partners.”
In addition to its online marketplace for household goods that sells everyday items such as trash bags, detergent and shampoos from more than 600 manufacturers, Alice.com also provides e-commerce services to manufacturers of consumer packaged goods. The company says the number of consumer-direct web stores running on its e-commerce platform increased by 200% in the past year.
Brands served by Alice.com include Kellogg’s, Slim-Fast, Bic, 3M and Solo Cup.