An e-commerce website opened on a laptop. (Source: Pixabay)

The Surprising Power Broker Backing E-Commerce Startups

(Bloomberg) -- When Abigail Stone decided to start an online candle company, she had neither investors nor a product. But she found an early ally in the branding agency Red Antler, which agreed to help her get her business off the ground in exchange for a cut of her company. This week, Bloomberg Technology's Jing Cao and Brad Stone follow Abigail in the frenzied months leading up to and following the launch of her startup Otherland. Along the way, we'll see how much Red Antler can help an unknown entrepreneur stand out in the highly-competitive e-commerce industry—and we'll judge whether its services are worth the considerable price.

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To contact the authors of this story: Jing Cao in New York at, Brad Stone in San Francisco at

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