News Cart for June 19th

Hey everyone!

Facebook dominates e-commerce headlines with its new cryptocurrency, Libra, which aims to address much of the criticism faced by Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Similarly, upstart e-commerce platform Verishop takes on Amazon by trying to ease seller frustrations such as counterfeiting.

In other news, Walmart wants to stock your home fridge, FedEx cancels its express contract with Amazon, and Target hones same-day shipping.

But what will really get everyone yakking around the virtual water cooler is the news that Amazon Spark has died. (Well, that, and a Pakistani politician’s use of a cat filter during a live press conference.)

Find out what the heck Spark is (was), and read more about Libra in the ECF News Cart for June 19th. You can also listen to our news roundup on the podcast via iTunesStitcher or the ECF Blog.

Enjoy!

– Andrew

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In the News:

Facebook Unveils Ambitious New Cryptocurrency, Libra

  • Libra to be directly backed by government currencies, so its value won’t fluctuate like Bitcoin
  • Will be run by the independent, Swiss-based nonprofit Libra Association
  • Government ID needed to buy Libra through a new digital wallet called Calibra
  • Reportedly available first on Messenger and WhatsApp  in mid-2020

Former Snap and Quidsi Execs Launch E-Commerce Startup to Rival Amazon

  • Imran and Cate Khan rolled out Verishop yesterday with 150+ brands
  • Verishop aims to be a high-end, online version of a department store
  • Platform courts brands frustrated with counterfeits by blacklisting “shady third-party sellers”

FedEx Ends Express Delivery Contract With Amazon

  • Company cited desire to “focus on serving the broader e-commerce market”
  • Amazon sales made up just 1.3% of FedEx’s total revenue for 2018
  • Change won’t affect existing contracts with Amazon or international services

Walmart to Launch InHome Grocery Delivery in 3 Cities

  • Groceries delivered directly to customers’ kitchen or garage refrigerators
  • Walmart employees wear cameras paired with smart entry technology
  • Service launches this fall in Kansas City, Mo.; Pittsburgh; and Vero Beach, Fla.

Target Launches Dedicated Shopping Site for Same-Day Delivery

  • Deliveries powered by Shipt, which Target acquired in 2017 for $550 million
  • Same-day selections now integrated on Target.com/sameday

Amazon Pulls Plug on Instagram Rival Spark and Restaurants in US

  • Spark, Amazon’s shopping social network, has been shut down
  • Amazon Restaurants service also closing after the service was cancelled in London

Cat Filter Accidentally Used in Pakistani Minister’s Live Press Conference

  • The title speaks for itself.  This will be the best thing you see all week.

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