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Names have meaning. Parents who give their son the name Alexander surely want him to be great; the hope for a girl named Helen is that she will be beautiful. It's the same idea with start-ups, and it's a real bang when the name founders give their baby really works out.

On Tuesday, Fireworks, a tech start-up that aims to help companies conduct live-streaming and other video e-commerce events, did just that, convincing SoftBank and other investors that it's worth $750 million in a Series B round generating $150 million in new funding.

Spreading Like Wildfire

Live-streamed shopping events -- kind of like a QVC for the internet -- have long been popular in China, but remain a relatively novel concept in the US despite tech titans Amazon, Meta, and Google's YouTube all offering live-streaming shopping tools. For SoftBank, which led the round via its influential Vision Fund 2, it's Fireworks' underlying tech that makes it an attractive bet.

The start-up's services allow companies to forgo streaming and hosting licenses normally needed to host interactive shoppable video on their website -- untethering them from third-party platforms, and making it easier for consumers to complete purchases all in one virtual space. As the appetite for video shopping continues to grow, Fireworks has garnered a large, high-profile clientele:

  • Fireworks now boasts 900 companies using its services, headlined by grocery group Albertsons, which began using the platform last October.
  • Live-streamed e-commerce accounts for just 0.1% of all online sales in North America, i.e. less than $6 billion, per TechCrunch. Analysts expect the market to explode to $35 billion by 2024; in China, sales are already poised to hit $423 billion this year.

This is the second major funding round in as many years for Fireworks. In March 2021, the company raised $55 million at a valuation of $230 million, meaning the start-up has doubled its worth in a calendar year. How's that for a bang?