With global e-commerce sales poised to be a $5.5 billion industry this year, e-commerce enablement software startups are looking to carve out a place in this huge market.
One of them is Because, a startup developing no-code software that connects disparate data sources to automate large volumes of website updates.
Founder and CEO Ashland Stansbury explained that e-commerce businesses collectively spend $1.3 trillion driving traffic to their websites, but only 3% of that leads to a customer purchase. Additionally, the average Shopify business owner manages a large product catalog, often with over 50 products.
The way content is usually updated is that a manager has to go to every page on the website and edit anything manually, which often results in misinformation and errors.
Instead, Tampa-based Because, which launched in November 2020, offers a “Canva-like” editing experience where e-commerce managers can design and publish messages, for example, about delivery and availability, promotions and shipping costs, aimed at increasing conversion rates.
“We estimate that a dozen to hundreds of hours are saved per month using Because,” Stansbury told TechCrunch. “It also saves development hours.”
Although some companies are throwing around the phrase “no-code,” they still need some coding capability, but Stansbury says that’s not the case. There is a campaign dashboard with different types of content and templates to pull from, very similar to Canva, and the manager can automatically adapt to the store’s branding and colors, then change the font, text or colors, and drag and drop to see what it would look like live.
Because’s “sweet spot,” so to speak, is its rules engine for inventory. Instead of having to go product by product, the engine only displays products with abundant inventory or just a few products left.
Within the e-commerce industry, E-Commerce Software and Platforms Market is expected to be valued at nearly $4 billion in 2022 and triple by 2032. Companies like Melonn, CommerceIQ, CJ Dropshipping, Gelato, and Moonshot Brands also operate in this space.
Because he raised $650,000 in angel investments last year, growing the company to over 900 merchants and 150 paying customers.
Now armed with a new capital injection, a $3 million seed round, Because plans to grow its product and its team; build integrations with additional c-commerce platforms like Klaviyo, Smile.io, and ShipBob; and leveraging artificial intelligence to predict the exact message site users should buy and to compare their results to other stores in similar industries and geographies.
Harlem Capital led the round, and this is the third investment from them we’ve reported on in a month, which includes Drip and Glow Labs. Joining Harlem in investing are Studio VC, North Coast Ventures, Gaingels, and angel investors, including some former Shopify executives.
Meanwhile, Stansbury says Because can lead to an average 38% increase in basket rate, typically within the first 90 days of onboarding. Its addressable marketplace is already quite large — it currently sits on Shopify, where there are more than 700,000 merchants with 50 or more products to manage, she added.
“Growth hit a real hockey stick, and it’s been a team of myself and two engineers for a year,” she added. “Now we will invest in sales and marketing and complete the management team with a product manager and a sales manager.”