ShopIgniter Adds $3M for Social Commerce, Led by Madrona Venture Group; Amazon Watches
Portland, OR-based ShopIgniter, a startup working to unify the worlds of e-commerce and social media, has raised $3 million in Series A funding led by Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group. As part of the deal, former Madrona venture partner Matt Compton has joined ShopIgniter as CEO.
ShopIgniter was founded in 2008 by Alan Wizemann, Dan Warner, and Jason Glover. Their idea was to greatly extend online retail capabilities by offering a customizable e-commerce software platform. By adding some social-media features, the company found that “customers could create online stores that self-generated traffic,” Wizemann said in a statement.
The new VC funds will be used to accelerate sales and marketing, and to build out the company’s product into both social websites and the physical retail experience. ShopIgniter’s software enables retailers, wholesalers, and brands to do things like sell products through Facebook, find customers through Twitter, and manage their online stores through a simple Web interface.
One interesting angle is that Madrona co-founder and managing director Tom Alberg is leading the investment and will join the ShopIgniter board. This is Alberg’s first new board position in some time. He also serves on the board of directors at Impinj, SinglePoint, Physware, Mercent, and—oh yeah—Amazon.com. (See this in-depth interview with Alberg in Xconomy last year.)
“We are investing in ShopIgniter because its flexible Web services based platform significantly improves the ability of retailers to better manage and present their Web store to customers,” Alberg said in a statement. “The founders have deep domain expertise and the company has built a platform that incorporates new opportunities for retailers to serve and reach customers through social networks and other innovative features.”
Compton, an Oregon native and former Yahoo exec, has helped Madrona evaluate more than 100 early-stage companies in Oregon. Meanwhile, you have to figure Amazon will keep a very close eye on this baby, thanks in no small part to Alberg.