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Competition Heats Up: Commerce Startup Flip Secures $144 Million in Funding in Its Bid To Take on TikTok and Amazon  

Social commerce startup Flip has raised $144 million in fresh funding. Led by Streamlined Ventures, the funding round brings Flip’s valuation to $1.05 billion and includes a $50 million investment from advertising software firm AppLovin Corp.

Founded in 2019 by a former Iraqi refugee, Flip is an online marketplace featuring product review videos created by shoppers. It aims to distinguish itself by offering exclusively brand-name products promoted through these authentic video reviews. Users can peruse reviews spanning products like espresso machines, phone holders, and candles. The items displayed are tailored based on a questionnaire filled out during sign-up.

Founder and CEO Noor Agha has told Bloomberg that Flip strives to be “the last honest place on the internet” by showcasing reviews from shoppers who have purchased the products. Reviewers earn money based on video views and related sales, while Flip generates revenue through commissions on sales and by charging brands to make their product reviews more prominent in the app.

The startup occupies a space between Amazon’s mixed bag of brands and generic products, and TikTok’s randomized stream of shopping videos within a social media feed. About 5 million people have downloaded the Flip app so far. 

The platform appears focused on more affluent shoppers than the rapidly growing discount app Temu, which offers inexpensive goods shipped from China.

For AppLovin, the $50 million investment in Flip represents a strategic move to expand beyond its core mobile gaming business into e-commerce. “With AXON powering Flip’s ads, the Flip consumer will find more products to purchase. Likewise, brands on Flip will be positioned to drive significantly more sales,” said AppLovin CEO Adam Foroughi. AppLovin’s AI tools can direct mobile app ads toward the most interested users.

Streamlined Ventures’ Ullas Naik, an early investor in both companies, facilitated the partnership. It allows Flip to leverage AppLovin’s AI advertising capabilities without years of internal development, Naik told Bloomberg.

As Flip secures major funding, the competitive landscape in video-driven social commerce continues intensifying, with top retail players vying for market share.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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