July 26, 2022
Emerald Holding, Inc. (NYSE: EEX), the owner and organizer of NY NOW®, the wholesale market for retail where brands, buyers, and designers gather to connect and discover, today announced the acquisition of Bulletin Inc, a wholesale marketplace connecting over 3,000 independent brands with over 26,000 retailers. Cascadia Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor to Bulletin.
The acquisition of Bulletin will elevate the experience for wholesale buyers to discover a broader array of innovative brands and makers via a fusion of in-person and e-commerce offerings, creating a 24/7 platform for brands and retailers to connect and transact with each other. Further, the merger will infuse the iconic NY NOW Gift and Home Show with Bulletin’s entrepreneurial spirit, industry expertise and extensive customer base of brands and retailers. The union of these two platforms will provide small businesses access to a solution that allows them to fuel innovation and design and provide buyers with year-round inspiration and discovery.
“NY NOW is experiencing a period of transformation and revival,” said Karalynn Sprouse, EVP, Emerald. “The combination of Bulletin and NY NOW not only provides us with a dynamic platform that delivers year-round discovery and engagement, but Alana, Ali, and the Bulletin team’s thought leadership, forward-looking perspectives, and extensive network of makers, designers, influencers, and media will serve as new pathways of expression and creativity. In addition, this union reconfirms our unwavering commitment to NY NOW, especially as our 100th anniversary of being the preeminent resource for the Gift and Home industry grows near.”
“We see a massive opportunity to combine the efficiencies of our leading digital platform with the pure magic of an iconic in-person event,” says Alana Branston, Bulletin’s CEO and Co-founder. “During the pandemic, our industry lost a lot of its humanity, despite the explosion of wholesale e-commerce, and became very transaction-driven and impersonal. Because of this, it’s grown harder for brands and buyers to broker real, enduring relationships. So, we’re excited to rethink and revamp NY NOW’s format, programming, and positioning to guarantee an in-person show that puts those relationships front-and-center, underpinned by transactions and commerce at the event and year-round. It’s exactly what our customers have been asking for.”
“Alana and Ali experienced the archaic and fragmented wholesale ecosystem first-hand as a retailer and successfully created a vertically integrated and centralized technology platform connecting retailers and brands. By joining the Emerald platform, Bulletin will continue to drive significant value at greater scale,” said Teague Collins, Managing Director at Cascadia Capital.
The Bulletin marketplace supports independent brands like Piecework Puzzles, Apotheke, Golde, Kitsch and Brightland, and powers wholesale discovery and order management for innovative online-only retailers like Fast AF and social shopping app Flip, as well as a diverse pool of brick-and-mortar stores like Prelude & Dawn, Onatah General Store, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Friends NYC, and thousands more.
“Cascadia understood the value of our business and their deep expertise in B2B retail/ecommerce technology allowed them to provide valuable advice and experience in navigating a complex transaction,” said Ali Kriegsman, Bulletin’s Co-founder.
The acquisition represents another successful transaction for Cascadia in the retail & commerce technology sector. Past transactions include the acquisition of Style Genome by Wayfair and Goldman Sachs’ Series C investment in Perfect Corp.
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