For small businesses wanting an e-commerce presence, acquiring that technology can be complex and costly, especially if the business is just one person.
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Enter San Diego-based Ecwid, a software-as-a-service e-commerce company that provides online selling solutions for small businesses and enables them to establish a digital storefront in a matter of hours.
The 9-year-old company announced a $42 million round of funding on Thursday, led by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital and PeakSpan Capital. Ecwid previously raised a total of $6.5 million in venture funding, including a $4 million Series B in 2014, according to Crunchbase data. In addition to the investment, PeakSpan Capital’s co-founder and Managing Partner Phil Dur, and Pete Chung, managing director and head of Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, will join Ecwid’s board of directors.
“After five years of joint effort growing a truly international player, I am happy to transfer Ecwid to the reliable hands of PeakSpan Capital and Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital,” Gleb Davidyuk, managing partner and co-founder of iTech Capital, said in a written statement. “They will help Ruslan and his team move forward in today’s challenging times.”
He likens Ecwid to Shopify in that it provides a shopping cart, inventory management and mobile apps, but where Ecwid differs is by offering a free-use business model and the ability to integrate Ecwid into an existing website.
The platform also offers merchants access to key marketplaces, including Amazon and Google, access to a range of point-of-sale solutions, and the ability to advertise and sell on social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook, Fazlyev said.
“Many first-time entrepreneurs and mom and pop shops have never tried to sell something online,” he added. “Every merchant, no matter how niche, is big enough if you sell globally. We enable those guys to do that—to become a viable market.”
Ecwid touts more than 1.5 million small businesses using its platform in more than 175 countries and supporting nearly 60 languages. Fazlyev said the company has seen significant growth over the past few years, with new customer sign-ups doubling between 2018 and 2019, and jumping another 300 percent in the second quarter of 2020 versus the same period in 2019.
As mentioned, part of the new funding will go back to early investors, but it will also go toward doubling the company’s headcount. Ecwid has 200 employees and has plans to scale to 400, which is the result of a mostly international staff working from home, Fazylev said.
After going through the acquisition of X-Cart, he is also considering a merger or acquisition of his own, he said.
“Part of the plan is to go ahead and work on our M&A muscle to buy companies in the $2 million revenue range to grow organically,” Fazlyev added.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias