Amazon has been in the news lately for their continued push into banking related services but they are not the only ones making the push; TearSheet looks into three big name retailers also pushing their businesses into finance; Rakuten is Japan’s largest e-commerce site as their footprint includes video on demand, mobile messaging and they also operate the largest online bank in the country; Overstock.com has been building a marketplace for financial services named the FinancHub; two of the U.K.’s largest grocers, Sainsbury and Tesco, have opened banks via joint ventures. Source.
Overstock.com has launched a robo advising investor platform that will be presented by tZERO Advisors; investors can choose from a group of portfolios or create their own for $9.95 a month; tZERO Advisors uses FusionIQ’s investment platform which allows for the online investing; “This service introduces robo-advising investment management services to our millions of customers and continues Overstock’s commitment to bridging Wall Street and e-commerce,” shared Overstock founder and CEO Patrick Byrne to Crowdfund Insider. Source.
Coindesk reports that the initial phase of a token sale for tZERO attracted 2,000 accredited investors; the company may now shorten the time until their token sale; tZERO is an alternative trading system registered with the SEC. Source
Overstock.com plans to launch their new regulated token exchange with its own initial coin offering; launched under Overstock.com's capital markets arm, tØ, the token offering will be the first listed event on the new exchange; CoinDesk reports that Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne said the company will be able to raise between $200mn and $500mn easily. Source.
Overstock.com has announced it will allow customers to pay in over 40 cryptocurrencies through support from ShapeShift; the e-commerce website is the first well-known retail platform to allow coin payments beyond bitcoin; the payments are facilitated by an API built by cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift. Source
Overstock has been building out their FinanceHub for the past few months to include Overstock credit cards and insurance products, loans by LendingTree, Prosper and SoFi, a robo-adviser for automated investing and a discounted trading platform; Raj Karkara, Overstock VP of loyalty and financial services, tells TearSheet, “Consumers don’t want to sit and sign 50 documents, they just want to go online and get through the steps they need to take to move forward.”; the moves made are part of a broader strategy for the retailer to become a full service fintech firm that caters to their clients needs. Source.
In a note circulated to clients equity research firm D.A. Davidson said Overstock.com is the clear leader in blockchain technology; "Our research increased our conviction that, today and likely in the near-term, Overstock stands head and shoulders above the others" analyst Tom Forte of D.A. Davidson said as reported by Business Insider; the company was the first retailer to accept bitcoin payments and as a result saw their stock rise 265 percent in the last 12 months. Source.
Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne is exploring options to sell the retailer and use the proceeds to start a digital global property registry; Mr. Byrne would be teaming up with Hernando de Soto who says that formalizing land rights can help to stop poverty; they are looking to use the blockchain to list ownership records, this would make it easier to trace them back to the right owner and account for less forgeries; the new company, De Soto, would start in early 2018 and use more than 10 Overstock employees. Source.
Overstock.com launches a joint venture with RenGen and Argon Group for an automated trading system for tokens via ICOs; according to Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne the JV will be the first platform to meet regulatory requirements of both the SEC and Finra. Source.
Overstock.com is utilizing blockchain for a blockchain security offering; the offering is part of its preferred stock capital raising which provides investors the option to invest through the company's blockchain technology using a URL; this offering has confirmed subscriptions with the post-trade process being managed on a shared, distributed ledger; since Overstock.com is a publicly traded company, all details of the subscription process have been documented with the SEC. Source