Swedish tech start-up Bambuser gears up to expand livestream shopping

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish tech startup Bambuser is looking to raise 100 million crowns ($10.5 million) via a rights issue to fund an expansion of its live video shopping technology, as the novel way of purchasing finds its way to the West.

In China, live video shopping - the convergence of e-commerce and livestreaming - boomed last year.

Typically, consumer brand representatives or paid influences talk about a product in a live broadcast, allowing watchers to not only interact with them, but also to readily order the product.

On China's Singles' Day in November, more than 50% of merchants on retail website Tmall used livestreaming to sell nearly 20 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) worth of products, Tmall owner Alibaba Group has said.

Live video platform provider Bambuser in September launched a solution that enables brands to offer live shopping on their own websites, prompting its share price to double, albeit from a low level.

It said on Tuesday it now aims to become profitable in 2022.

"The rights issue enables the company to expand its operation primarily within the live video shopping segment," Bambuser said in a statement, adding that existing shareholders had undertaken to sign up for a total 52 million crowns.

So far, the company has announced livestream shopping partnerships with a handful of Nordic beauty and apparel brands and marketplaces. World no.2 fashion retailer H&M's Monki brand used Bambuser's live shopping solution to make a broadcast via its website in late 2019.

It also announced a partnership with Italian online luxury fashion retailer last week, again pushing its shares to a double-digit intraday gain.

They were down 11% at 2.12 crowns by 1504 GMT on Tuesday, having risen 30% on Monday.

Bambuser on Monday said it had lined up two China experts as strategic advisers, an indication it may be targeting the Chinese market.

Over the past year leading Western social media and e-commerce platforms have launched livestream shopping, with Facebook's Instagram rolling out a feature allowing users to shop from the app, and Inc offering its "Amazon Live" livestreaming site. Snapchat also has a shopping function.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)