March 14, 2019 by Sujay Seetharaman

1. Amazon launches a new skin-care product line

Amazon’s Brand Accelerator program has launched its first beauty line, that will be sold exclusively through Amazon’s marketplace. According to CNBC, it is reportedly the first beauty product to enter the market from Amazon’s brand accelerator program. Known as Fast Beauty Company, it’s founding partners include Dhaval Bhanusali, a NY-based dermatologist and Simona and Diana Kubasova, who are both Latvian models. Most of the brand’s products are priced at $5 and up.

2. Online marijuana market in North America booming

The online market for marijuana products (the flower used to smoke, edibles, and CBD) in North America is reportedly gathering momentum, following the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada. A few states in the US have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. The global cannabis market, both legal and illicit, stands at $150 billion today, according to a white paper by Euromonitor International. Legal cannabis sales as of last year was $12 billion.  The largest market will be North America, growing from $12 billion in 2018 to $47.3 billion in 2027. The recreational market will be the largest segment in North America, contributing 67 percent of the amount, with medical cannabis making up the remainder.

3. Kroger spins off its digital coupon service

Kroger is reportedly selling its You Technology digital coupon and rebate platform, but not ending its involvement with the service. According to ChainStorage, digital promotions and analytics provider Inmar has completed its acquisition of YouTech from Kroger for $565 million, including $400 million of cash consideration received upon closing. Kroger intends to use the after-tax cash proceeds from the sale to reduce debt.

4. African eCommerce company Jumia files for IPO

Pan-African eCommerce company Jumia has reportedly filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, confirmed Techcrunch. The valuation, share price and timeline of the IPO are yet to be disclosed. With the imminent IPO capital, Jumia said that it would double-down on its current strategy and regional focus. The company would be the first from Africa to list on a major global exchange.

5. L’Oreal announces a partnership with uBiome

L’Oreal has announced that it is partnering with uBiome, a microbial genomics company. The partnership will let customers submit their cheek-swab samples which uBiome will analyze to determine a user’s skin health based on the ecosystem of microbes that live on the skin. Based on the results, the customer can make personalized product choices. Guive Balooch, VP of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator was quoted as saying “Our goal is to advance scientific research and leverage new technologies to change this relationship by allowing deeper levels of personalization.”


Sujay Seetharaman

Market Analyst @ PipeCandy

Currently donning the Researcher's hat. Talks to himself.