The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
The funds come from venture capital firms Canaan Partners and Celtic House Venture Partners, the latter a firm that focuses on early-stage investments in technology companies. EBillme will use the funds to gain more merchants and expand into new markets.
Two venture capital firms have invested $12 million in eBillme, a payment service that lets consumers make purchases using their web-based bill payment systems.
The funding comes from Canaan Partners, whose previous investments have included web advertising network DoubleClick and online dating service Match.com, and Celtic House Venture Partners, an existing investor in eBillme which specializes in early-stage investments in information and communication technology companies in Canada and Europe.
“This recent financing represents a significant milestone for eBillme and comes at a time of exciting company growth,” says Marwan Forzley, president and CEO of eBillme. “We will use this funding to further our merchant acquisitions and our expansion into new markets and consumer segments.”
Among the merchants accepting eBillme are TigerDirect.com, part of Systemax Inc., No. 22 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide,Buy.com No. 33, Etronics No. 78, Crutchfield No. 104, Cymax Stores No. 247, Motorcycle Superstore No. 295 and Tool King No. 305.
EBillme says 84 million U.S. consumers bank online, making them prime targets for paying at retail sites using the same services they use to pay their household bills.