Overstock: The Blockchain Retailer and Financial Hub

DailyFintech, Efi Pylarinou | Mar. 6, 2018


…Overstock, the American retailer, [is] a great example of a publicly traded stock with a significant Blockchain exposure. Overstock just got an infusion of capital from Soros and reported that $100 million was raised privately with institutional capital for further development of the T-zero blockchain development. The public sale of the ICO aiming to raise $250 million if not $300 million, is on its way unless the SEC subpoenas halt it.

What has gone unnoticeable is the solidity and expansion of the Overstock Finance hub. The online retailer, with 40 million users in North America from which two thirds (2/3) are women, Overstock’s captive audience is huge and powerful. Women are under-estimated decision makers and as a reminder.

“There’s a certain power that comes from being underestimated” Arianna Simpson, Autonomous Partners

With 27 million American women on board who shop from shoes, to furniture, to cars; the potential is not to be underestimated. In partnership with Sofi, Lending Tree, and Prosper, the Overstock lending offering is full stack—student, personal, mortgage, and auto. The Overstock insurance offering is also complete with auto, business, and loans offers. It is powered by Insuritas, a leading provider of insurance agency outsourcing services for financial institutions (launched in 2014). However, both loans and insurance are not new to big retailers in North America.

 

This is new for Western retailers

Starting in Feb 2018 and for $9.95 a month, Overstock offers a robo-advisor that creates a well-balanced stock portfolio for its users. T-zero Advisors is the registered investment advisor entity that is managing this service. Check out their UX here.

So, it isn’t Walmart or Amazon that made the move first in the robo-advisor space.

Overstock’s company slogan on its website is:

We Do the Work, You Do the Saving.”

The robo-advisor offers three main categories of portfolios, conservative, moderate and aggressive. A total of 28 kinds of portfolios are listed on the site (see details here). For example, one from each category are: IQ Super 500 Dividend, IQ Mid Cap Growth, IQ TECH 100. The proprietary algorithms that do the dynamic rebalancing too, are from FusionIQ an independent tech research company that scores stocks and ETFs.

Overstock is in full-blown innovation mode and it will only be stopped from its shareholders who bought into a retailer and not necessarily going to vote for the “transformation” of their stock into a high tech company. Patrick Byrne, on the other hand, may want to take it into the “blockchain transformation”. Is the robo-advisory service a sweetener for the shareholders, while Patrick leads the blockchain end of the transformation? Or is it a great example of the “new” marketing concept of Wantedness which about choosing brands that understand and care about their customers?