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Market Map: Ecommerce investors’ shopping spree slackens

Fueled by lockdowns and newly emerging platforms, ecommerce saw explosive growth during the pandemic.

Ecommerce has been riding a wave. The pandemic drove immense growth for the vertical, packing a dual punch: Consumer spending was up and lockdowns pushed traffic to online platforms, transforming the way people shop.

The big brick-and-mortar stores got a tech upgrade while new platforms emerged to meet demand, and investors have taken note. Backers have poured money into segments like purchase venue, which accounts for startups that create the systems, resources, integrations and applications that consumers use to make purchases across all kinds of storefronts.

The market map below explores the purchase venue segment and shows which startups are attracting investors’ attention and capital.

To go deeper, read our Q4 2022 E-Commerce Report. PitchBook subscribers can also explore the full market map with details on more than 1,600 companies.

Spotlight: Purchase Venue

  • Conversational commerce: Companies that deal with AI, machine learning and other kinds of bots that assist transactions.
  • Livestream and social commerce: Startups that deal with commerce occurring on livestream or social media feeds.
  • Marketplace enablement: Companies that work on integrations that allow users to sell products across various marketplaces at the same time.
  • Mobile commerce: Platforms that facilitate commerce on apps and other technologies that are used primarily on mobile devices.
  • Storefronts and headless APIs: Platforms that help stores and other businesses showcase their products on websites and apps. The presentations are typically lightweight and simple to load and use.

Trends: Deals and exits


In Q4 2022, there were 77 ecommerce deals worth a combined $1 billion, a 41.2% decline in deal value quarter-over-quarter, according to PitchBook data. This marked the third consecutive quarter with a decline in deal value.

While 2022's ecommerce market saw less deal activity than the year prior, it compared favorably to pre-pandemic years and was the second-highest year on record with $8.8 billion raised over 296 deals. However, most of that activity occurred early on, as broader market headwinds slowed down deal activity in the back half of the year.

Notable deals in the last quarter of 2022 included logistic app developer MaxAB's $40 million round as well as a $115 million Series B for return platform operator Loop Returns.

There were 22 exits worth a combined $1.5 billion in 2022, a modest annual decrease in deal value and a virtually unchanged deal count, according to PitchBook data. In the last quarter of 2022 there were five exits of undisclosed value, compared to the seven exits in Q3 worth $400 million.

The decline occurred in tandem with rising interest rates, which slowed down M&A activity, as well as a nearly frozen IPO market, according to PitchBook analyst Eric Bellomo.

Notable exits in Q4 2022 included image recognition and retail analytics platform developer StyleSage's acquisition by Dassault Systèmes for an undisclosed amount and Emplifi's buyout of marketing software developer Pixlee TurnTo.

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Featured image by Ground Picture/Shutterstock

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