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JOANN crafts its own subscription space

Today, we dive deep on JOANN Fabrics and Crafts new venture in the subscription space. We also spotlight a timesaving product, drop details on which startup acquired Ford's subscription service, and introduce you to this week's Subscription Sapien: Gail Goodman.

Today's Top Subscription News

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Transforming AI

Element AI, a global developer of artificial intelligence software solutions, says it has raised $151.4 million in Series B funding.

The company says this investment will enable Element AI to transform its business operations. Element AI’s CEO said,

"The operationalization of AI is currently the industry's toughest challenge, and few companies have been able to take lab tests out of the lab and strategically integrate them into their operations to have a real impact on business. We are proud to work with our new partners who understand this challenge, and leverage each other's expertise to commercialize AI solutions."

Fair Acquires Canvas

Fair, a California startup, is acquiring Ford’s monthly vehicle subscription service, Canvas. CNBC reported Fair has agreed to take this on for an undisclosed amount but marks healthy growth for the startup.

Scott Painter, CEO and founder of Fair, told CNBC that the acquisition will nearly double the company’s engineering capabilities and provide rapid expansion for operation in San Francisco and its overall customer base.

Perhaps this acquisition is more proof that subscription services are trumping ownership.

Crafting Up Subscription STEM

JOANN, the craft and fabric specialty retailer, is dipping into the subscription space. JOANN is teaming up with the children’s multimedia company, GoldieBlox, and the tween-focused toy company, Make It Real. Together, they’re offering the GoldieBlox Box.

GoldieBlox Box is an exclusive monthly subscription craft box. But, it’s not all frills and lace. The box is designed to encourage the development of STEM skills in kids ages eight and up.

Each monthly box will be filled with goodies for science-based projects, complemented with facts about the STEM behind each project.

GoldieBlox founder and CEO, Debbie Sterling, told Business Wire,

“GoldieBlox and JOANN have a shared goal to empower children to pursue their dreams and we are dedicated to providing kids with resources to express their creativity. At GoldieBlox, we use storytelling and STEM principles, coupled with a girl engineer character who does crafts and DIY projects, to give girls confidence and encourage them to pursue their dreams, so we believe this partnership will further our mission.”

The box is available now to order with a special deal. The first month is $19.99 with free shipping. From then on, you can choose to pay month-to-month for $25 or 3 to 6 month prepay for $20 a month.

JOANN has been in business for more than 75 years, while it offers in-store classes and promotions, we applaud it for recognizing the future of subscription and giving it a try. Cheers to this adventure into the sub universe as it encourages creativity and stem in young minds.

Subscription Sapiens

Today’s Subscription Sapien is Gail Goodman, who — as former president and CEO of Constant Contact — grew the organization from pre-revenue startup to publicly traded company.

Goodman's accomplishments include authoring a book called "Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected World," winning American Business Awards' Executive of the Year, Ernst & Young's New England Entrepreneur of the Year, named a Top 30 Innovator by Boston Globe, and being inducted into the MITX Innovation Hall of Fame.

And that’s a wrap for your September 16th subscription news.

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