Shopify has changed the e-commerce scenario by making it easier for merchants to establish their websites both quickly as well as affordably. Now, there is a start-up called by the name Tapcart that is going to do the same for mobile commerce. This company is being referred to as “Shopify for mobile apps,” today powers the shopping apps for top brands, including Fashion Nova, Pier One Imports, The Hundreds, Patta, Culture Kings, and thousands more.
Following a year of 3x revenue growth, in part driven by the pandemic,it is today announcing the close of a $50 million round of Series B funding, led by Left Lane Capital. Having clearly taken notice of Tapcart’s traction with its own merchant base, Shopify is among the round’s participants. Other investors in the round include SignalFire, Greycroft, Act One Ventures, and Amplify LA.
Founded by Sina Mobasser and Eric Netsch, Tapcart’s platform itself offers a simple drag-and-drop builder that allows anyone to create a mobile app for their existing. Shopify stores using tools to design their layout, customize the product detail pages, integrate checkout options, including product reviews, and even optionally add other branded content, like blogs, lookbooks, videos (including live video), and more. Everything is synced directly from Shopify to the app in real-time, so the merchant’s inventory, products, and collections are all kept up to date. That’s a big differentiator from some rivals, which require duplicate sets of data and data transformation. Tapcart, meanwhile, leverages all of Shopify’s APIs and SDKs to create a native application that works with Shopify’s existing data structures.
This collaboration with Shopify enables Tapcart sine it has to focus on e-commerce infrastructure as the things are structured around inventory and collections are roughly 90% the same across brands. Instead, Tapcart focuses on the 10% that makes brands stand out from one another, which includes things like branding, content, and design. Its CMS allows merchants to create exclusive content, change the colors and fonts, add videos, and more to make the app look and feel fully customized.
Moreover, Tapcart also helps merchants automate their marketing. Tapcart platform enables merchants to communicate with their customers in real-time using push notifications that can alert them to new sales, to encourage them to return to abandoned carts or any other promotions. The marketing campaigns can be automated, as well, which helps merchants schedule their upcoming launches and product drops ahead of time.
“Our sweet spot is when you have maybe a couple of hundred customers in your database,” notes Netsch. “That’s a perfect time to now focus less on the paid acquisition portion of your business and more on how to retain and engage those existing customers, [so they’ll] shop more and have a better experience,” he says.
Today, Tapcart generates revenue by charging a flat SaaS (software-as-a-service) fee, which differentiates it from a number of competitors who charge a percentage of the merchant’s total sales.
With the funding acquired by the company, Santa Monica-based Tapcart can hire 200 people over the next 24 months, up from the 70 it has currently. These will include new additions across time zones and even in markets like Australia and Europe as it moves toward global expansion.