Bulgarian E-Commerce Startup CloudCart To Expand Abroad After Closing An Investment Round Led By New Vision 3
CloudCart, a Bulgarian e-Commerce platform that has been designed to help merchants easily build an online store and generate more sales, has closed a €640k (BGN1.25m) investment. The funds will be used for the development of new marketing functionalities and expansion in Europe, starting with Romania, Greece, and Germany.
New Vision 3 (NV3) led the round providing €500k, out of which €440k are public funds coming from the Fund of Funds. The rest was contributed by private investors. NV3 will have an option to increase its stake in the company by up to €1m within one year.
“We are happy for the opportunity to invest in a motivated team and a company whose development we’ve been following for a few years. The company is positioned within a growing segment of the market, has a proven business model, and has developed a partnership ecosystem – all of which are factors we believe are crucial for a successful international expansion,” shares Konstantin Petrov, managing partner at NV3.
This is the fourth startup backed by the successor of one of the first VCs in Bulgaria – NEVEQ, after in March the firm put €2.5M in three fintech companies.
Focus on the conversions, not the technology
“To date, CloudCart has over 1800 paying clients and today, in Bulgaria, the total number of online stores is about 15, 000, so we’ve already captured a 12% market share on a local level”, says Nikolay Iliev, CEO at CloudCart. Looking at the company’s portfolio we can see a wide range of mainly consumer brands – in the automotive, retail, sports, FMCG, interior design sectors – to name just a few.
On a global level, CloudCart definitely has serious competition in the face of established online store building platforms like Magento, OpenCart, and WooCommerce. However, according to Iliev, CloudCart’s value proposition, which blends a product and a service, has several advantages.
“Our platform doesn’t require any technical or design knowledge, which is not the case for other products. What’s more, until merchants hit 1000 euro or leva in revenue, they can have a store for free. CloudCart is like an eCommerce ecosystem – you don’t need to work with countless third-party providers to get your business running,” explains Iliev.
Besides the standard SaaS business model, CloudCart offers a set of additional services to support small and mid-sized businesses with online sales – for example, landing page creation, logo design, online advertising, or SEO optimization.
CloudCart has also integrated multiple apps in its platform providing pretty much everything needed for an online business to function – from free migration of old stores and hosting through inventory management, automated invoicing, payments, shipping, and GDPR compliance, all the way to promotion tools and a customer engagement chatbot.
Automation and time saving certainly plays a critical part in CloudCart’s offering. For example, the users who have a store on the platform can directly get one on platforms like Etsy and OLX. Facebook and Google ads can also be launched from CloudCart’s admin panel – with no need to be set up separately. One of the latest additions is an integration with messaging application Viber, which enables CloudCart clients to easily communicate promotions to their customers .
With the new funding, CloudCart gets the opportunity to grow in new markets but the company seems determined to continue helping the expansion of local SMEs: “After we set foot in our next strategic locations, we aim to help Bulgarian merchants sell on these markets as well. We will continue supporting the growth of our current clients and offer them the know-how to successfully sell abroad,” shares Iliev.