Retailers have teased and rolled out online deals for days, even weeks, but the real Black Friday is here.
Russian E-Commerce Software Pioneer Has Over 100,000 Customers in 174 Countries.
Mountain View, CA - (December 14, 2011) Ecwid, Inc., producer of the world’s first platform-neutral, drop-in store builder widget -- which can be easily embedded into any website, blog or social network page in minutes -- has announced its Series A round of venture funding and the planned opening of its first United States and United Kingdom offices. Ecwid (www.ecwid.com) is based in Ulyanovsk, Russia.
The $1.5 million (U.S.) funding was completed by Runa Capital, a global venture capital firm with offices in Moscow, Russia and Berlin, Germany.
Ecwid’s widget, which is free to stores with fewer than 100 products, is the first and only store builder made entirely in AJAX, so store owners can be confident buyers can use the shopping cart regardless of device or browser type and without the need to install a Flash plug-in. Even non-technical users can add a store to any existing web, mobile or social network page in under five minutes. Monthly plans for stores larger than 100 products start at $17 (U.S.).
“Ecwid’s product attracted over 100,000 storefront customers in 174 countries without any marketing or outside funding,” comments Serguei Beloussov, senior founding partner of Runa Capital, and founder of Parallels, Acronis, Rolsen and Acumatica. “This is an achievement its competitors required millions of dollars to attain. Given the fast growth of e-commerce for small- to medium-sized businesses, Ecwid has the potential to grow exponentially in the years ahead.”
With over 40 percent of its customers in the United States, Ecwid will use a portion of its funding to open its first U.S. office in Mountain View, California in spring, 2012, with the goal of growing sales to small business owners and web studios through channel partnerships. Its first U.K. office will also open at that time in London. About 30 percent of Ecwid’s customers are from the European Union. Ecwid has 18 employees based in its Ulyanovsk, Russia headquarters, many of whom hail from PHP shopping cart maker X-Cart.
“Ecwid is unlike any other e-commerce application, as it allows a store owner to retain his/her existing site, design and CMS,” says Ruslan R. Fazlyev, Ecwid’s founder and CEO. “Installation is as simple as dropping in our code, so adding an online store to any existing web and social network presence is as easy as embedding a YouTube video.”
Ecwid’s widget is available in 37 languages and integrates seamlessly with major CMS and site builder platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Parallels Sitebuilder and many others; as well as all blog formats and major social networks including Facebook, Ning or any other OpenSocial-enabled network.
Ecwid’s widget accepts payments from all major payment systems such as PayPal, Google Checkout and Authorize.net.
Ecwid currently uses the “freemium” business model, offering customers with fewer than 100 products no setup, transaction or hosting fees. Customers with more than 100 products can purchase a Silver Plan at $17 (U.S.) per month or a Custom Plan, starting at $950 (U.S.) per year.
Ecwid offers a new approach to building an online store: a free, SaaS-based widget, compatible with any existing site and payment system, designed to be trouble-free and lightning-fast. Founded in 2009 by Ruslan R. Fazlyev, Ecwid won The Business Project 2010 startup contest sponsored by Google and Forbes Russia. Fazlyev’s first startup, X-Cart, was founded in 2000, producing the world’s first PHP store builder software. With no funding, X-Cart grew from a team of three students to 120 employees. Ruslan has left X-Cart to commit his time fully to Ecwid.
About Runa Capital
Runa Capital (www.runacap.com) is an early stage venture capital firm with offices in Moscow, Russia and Berlin, Germany, established to pursue opportunities in the rapidly growing areas of Cloud Computing, Internet, Virtualisation and Mobile Applications. Founded by Serguei Beloussov (founder of Parallels and Acronis) and Dmitry Chikhachev (Ericsson, Ritzio, Uvenco), and advised by Alexander Galitsky (Almaz Capital Partners), Runa Capital is run by a team of successful entrepreneurs, most of whom have worked together for over 15 years. It is a united team with broad geographical and cross-industry experience, as well as an extensive professional network.
Runa Capital’s investment strategy focuses on early stage opportunities, where venture capital is scarce and deal flow abundant. The key execution point is to select promising teams and to drive and support them in the global marketplace, turning them into international champions.
Runa Capital’s investments to date include: OnAir3G/Telefir, Jelastic, Metabar, Travelmenu, BigTime Software, Inc. (USA), ThinkGrid and Nginx, which powers 20 percent of the top 10,000 busiest websites including Facebook, Groupon, Dropbox, LivingSocial, WordPress and Yandex.