Shop Circle Exits Stealth Mode With $65 Million in Funding Led by NFX and QED to Become the First Operator of E-Commerce Tools
E-commerce app operators offer a one-stop-shop of platform tools for merchants
Shop Circle, a technology-driven company that operates e-commerce software, announced it has raised $65 million in funding. The financing was led by NFX and QED Investors, with participation from 645 Ventures, FirstMinute Capital and Triple Point Capital. Shop Circle, co-founded last year by Luca Cartechini and Gian Maria Gramondi, is officially coming out of stealth mode and will use the funds to help the company scale by growing its portfolio of e-commerce apps and more than doubling its headcount.
The e-commerce industry experienced prolific growth during the pandemic with sales increasing 50% to $870 billion. As a result of this growth, the U.S. retail e-commerce market is expected to reach $1.06 trillion in 2022. The global retail market is also projected to achieve record growth in 2023, reaching an expected $6.17 trillion with e-commerce accounting for 22.3% of the market, despite the end of the pandemic nearing.
“Shop Circle was founded with the goal of providing entrepreneurs the most cutting-edge tools in the industry, and in turn empowering them to build the future of e-commerce,” said Luca Cartechini, co-founder and CEO of Shop Circle. “With the funding, we are able to rapidly expand our portfolio offering and provide more than 50,000 direct-to-consumer brands with all of the tools needed to grow their stores and build experiences their customers will love.”
In order to run an efficient online marketplace, merchants must sift through tens of thousands of mostly disparate tools and, through trial and error, confirm which works best for their digital storefront and customers. Shop Circle aims to streamline these efforts and increase speed-to-market innovation. By creating a one-stop-shop for reliable and effective tools that merchants and brands can use to meet their business goals, less time is spent on setup and troubleshooting, ultimately reducing costs.
“In addition to helping scale the company, we also plan to use the funds to bolster our already talented team of employees,” said Gian Maria Gramondi, co-founder and COO of Shop Circle. “We plan to more than double our employee count by the end of year, bringing in new entrepreneurs, developers and more who share our mission of building the future of e-commerce.”
With Shop Circle’s unique approach, entrepreneurs can either sell their e-commerce apps directly to the company or join the Shop Circle team and scale their product with the company’s dedicated marketing, branding, partnership, product, content and tech teams. With this business model, the company plans to create an application ecosystem akin to Microsoft’s productivity solutions, making Shop Circle’s tools a first choice for e-commerce operators to accelerate their business.
“As a founder myself, I was particularly drawn to Shop Circle’s approach to growing its business by allowing entrepreneurs to not only sell their business but to also have the opportunity to join the team altogether,” said Pete Flint, general partner at NFX. “With the e-commerce industry set to grow following a secular trend, the need for reliable merchant-friendly applications has never been greater, especially for small businesses. I am confident in the technology Shop Circle is creating and look forward to watching it disrupt the industry.”
“The growth of e-commerce has created the need for powerful tools that make the shopping experience more enjoyable,” said Yusuf Özdalga, partner at QED Investors, “When financial services entered the digital age, we saw a host of problems that made the process difficult and tiresome. However, that turbulent era created the need for a streamlined and straightforward user process—one like what Shop Circle aims to provide merchants. The company has already begun making the e-commerce experience stronger and better for everyone involved.”