Shopify rival Ecwid raises $42m as merchants turn to e-commerce

22 May 2020

Ecwid founder and CEO Ruslan Fazlyev. Image: Ecwid

Ecwid said that the $42m funding will be used for an ‘aggressive’ expansion and buying out early-stage investors.

On Thursday (21 May), e-commerce start-up Ecwid announced that it has raised $42m in a funding round led by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital and PeakSpan Capital.

The SaaS business, which is a competitor to the likes of Canadian e-commerce business Shopify, provides online selling solutions for small businesses, enabling them to set up a digital storefront in a matter of hours.

Ecwid said that the fresh funding would be used to buy out previous and early-stage investors, including Runa Capital and iTech Capital, as well as to fuel “aggressive growth” and double the company’s headcount.

PeakSpan Capital co-founder and managing partner Phil Dur will join Ecwid’s board of directors, along with Pete Chung, managing director and head of Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital.

E-commerce boost

Founded in 2009, Ecwid offers online merchants a set of e-commerce tools, including access to key marketplaces such as Amazon and Google, as well as providing access to point-of-sales solutions and the ability to advertise and sell on social media channels.

The start-up sells its e-commerce tools directly and through third-party services such as Square and Wix, enabling businesses to build e-commerce solutions on their own websites and apps.

In a statement about the funding, Ecwid said that it has seen an increase in business as the Covid-19 crisis has forced many merchants to close physical stores and adapt to the world of e-commerce.

It said that new sign-ups have tripled, while transaction volume increased by more than 50pc from March to April.

Ruslan Fazlyev, founder and CEO of Ecwid, said: “The support early on from Runa Capital as we spun Ecwid out of a previous e-commerce company, X-Cart, played a massive role in the expansion of our partner channels, and iTech Capital was an important player in funding further growth.

“The new wave of funding gives us the resources and flexibility to accelerate the evolution of an e-commerce platform and to further expand internationally. We are playing an important role in enabling small businesses to survive, thrive and grow in this new Covid-19 world.”

PeakSpan managing partner Dur added: “Covid-19 is reinforcing what we already knew: e-commerce is vital, and it’s available to even the smallest of merchants now with Ecwid’s free tools that even novice internet users can adopt quickly.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic