Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
The e-commerce platform provider aims to have retailers up and running in 12 weeks.
E-commerce platform provider Kalio Inc. today announced plans to eliminate the upfront fees for retailers using its services. Rather, the startup costs will be spread out over the first year of service as a supplement to the regular monthly subscription fees.
“Implementation is the last barrier to adoption of technology for most mid-market customers,” says Jonathan Lee, CEO of Kalio. The idea of the new cost model is to allow smaller retailers to begin competing online without having to put up many hundreds of thousands of dollars before beginning to make sales, he says. “They could use that money to grow their business.”
The spread out startup costs range from $75,000 to $125,000. While most platforms take about 12 weeks to launch, Lee aims to reduce that timeframe to eight weeks, he says.
The KalioCommerce platform is a software-as-a-service, or SaaS, product that is remotely hosted, an approach increasingly called cloud computing. Customers pay a monthly subscription fee for which Kalio hosts their site in a multi-tenant arrangement—that is, all client sites are built on the same base of code in the cloud. That way, every bug fix, product update or new module Kalio adds is immediately available to all clients using the platform. Kalio has at least four new releases a year, Lee says, including a tablet extension for e-commerce sites released last week. Customers can choose extensions and configure the look and feel of their sites without programming on top of the Kalio foundation, he says.
“The ability to launch a rich-featured e-commerce site without the imposing upfront cost levels the competitive playing field for mid-sized retailers,” says Bernardine Wu, CEO of e-commerce consultancy firm FitForCommerce. “This model puts sophisticated e-commerce within reach for many online merchants who might otherwise have to continue to battle for market share with stale, outdated sites.”
Kalio at the time of writing provides e-commerce platforms to four retailers between the Internet Retailer Top 500 and Second 500 Guides: Jeffers Inc., No. 399, Touch of Class, No. 410, and Stony Creek Brands, No. 631.