by Allison Xu and Merritt Hummer

Ankorstore Co-Founders Pierre Louis Lacoste, Mathieu Alengrin, Nicolas Cohen and Nicolas d’Audiffret.

We aspire to partner with marketplaces that are transforming the way their respective industries operate, and that’s what we found in Ankorstore and the European wholesale market.

Our investment thesis on the future of retail can be summed up in four words: staples online, specialty offline. It is indisputable that e-commerce platforms will always win on price, selection, and convenience. As more consumers buy staples online, offline retail will recast itself as a venue for discovery and awakening the senses. …


Originally published in TechCrunch on March 31, 2021.

In 2019, my colleague Matt Harris coined the term “embedded fintech” to describe how virtually all software-driven companies will soon embed financial services into their applications, from sending and receiving payments to enabling lending, insurance, and banking services, and that idea quickly spread within the fintech community. Vertical apps such as Toast for restaurants, Squire for barbershops, and Shopmonkey for car repair shops will deliver financial services to businesses in the future rather than traditional, stodgy financial institutions.

The embedded fintech movement has just begun, but there is already a sister concept…


Originally published in TechCrunch on November 4, 2020.

Startups involved in B2B e-commerce such as Faire and Mirakl have burst out of the gates in 2020. Almost overnight, these startups transformed into consequential platforms, earning billion-dollar valuations along the way. The B2B e-commerce industry has broad reach, encompassing everything from commerce infrastructure and payments technology to procurement and supply-chain solutions. But one area of the B2B e-commerce sector holds outsized promise: marketplaces.

These venues for buyers and sellers of business-related products are exploding in popularity, fueled by better infrastructure, payments and security on the back-end and companies’ increased need to…


Imagine your most recent e-commerce experience, perhaps on a brand’s website or a marketplace like Amazon. Whether searching for a new kitchen appliance or simply browsing for a new wardrobe item, chances are you didn’t have to give much thought to the purchasing process itself. A wide selection of products in stock, rapid delivery, product display curated to your preferences, just a few clicks to checkout — these are things we’ve come to expect in our online shopping experience.

Ask any interior designer about his or her experience sourcing new materials for a project, and you’ll hear close to the…


At Bain Capital Ventures, we strive to become domain experts in our chosen verticals. We want founders to choose us because of our familiarity with and fluency in their markets. In turn, we seek out founders and partners who are deeply knowledgeable about their respective industries and whose unique insights serve as a competitive advantage.

The collaborators in our network play a crucial role in our work, supporting the full breadth of our efforts as investors: meeting great teams, understanding market trends, advising us on investments, placing exceptional operators in our portfolio companies, providing strategic counsel to executive teams, and…


Announcing Our Investment In SmartRent

In just under a decade, smart homes have gone from experimental to mainstream. In 2009, Nest had not yet launched its signature smart thermostat, but by 2018, half of U.S. consumers reported owning at least one smart device in their home. For its part, Nest had sold over 11 million thermostats by that point, reaching roughly one in 10 U.S. households.

With the smart home movement well underway, the benefits of such devices are well known to consumers — you can turn off air conditioning, answer your door, and watch your baby sleep from the…

Merritt Hummer

Growth investor @ Bain Capital Ventures focused on fintech, proptech, & b2b marketplaces

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