Meet The Swedish Startup That’s Taking On Etsy

ECommerce is increasingly going the way of the smartphone.

Research firm comScore reported that 15 percent of retail spending in the United States came from the eCommerce channel in the first quarter of this year. But smaller retailers are seeing a sea change in how buying gets done.

Take Etsy, the online platform that supports small-scale merchants. Forty-one percent of all spending from Etsy customers came from mobile devices, up from 35 percent in the same period last year. And, as reported Thursday (July 30) by Bloomberg, Etsy’s app for vendors had been downloaded more than 25 million times through the end of March 2015. That activity comes despite the company having 1.4 million active sellers on its platform.

Etsy makes note of the need to have a strong mobile presence in its “risk factor” disclosures in its SEC filings, as Bloomberg notes, and there is at least one startup that is taking the “mom-and-pop” war directly to the smartphone and mobile environment: Tictail.

Tictail, based in Stockholm, has a platform in place for small businesses to build and host their individual websites — and where shoppers can “flick from one vendor to the next,” according to the newswire. The company began operations three years ago and has only 6 percent of the vendor count that Etsy has. But as Bloomberg reports, more than half of purchases across those vendors come from mobile users. And 15 percent of all new vendors build their digital presence across handheld devices.

One real shot across the bow in the mobile vendor arena came on July 29 when Tictail said it had garnered $22 million in funding from Thrive Capital; Stockholm-based Creandum; Balderton Capital, based in London, and Acton Capital Partners , which hails from Munich.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Carl Waldekranz, Tactail’s founder and CEO, said, “You can get an Android smartphone these days for $30. There’s your business right there. This is going to change the definition of what a store is.” And though the executive stated Tictail has yet to show a profit, revenue has increased alongside vendor count.


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