Zlio, a France-based startup which puts the power to create an online shop into the hands of users, has today launched a UK site. Consumers will populate their stores by choosing products to sell from 62 UK merchants including Play and Dell, among others. “Shopkeepers” earn commissions on every item bought from their Zlio Shop in a similar fashion to a regular affiliate program which sends traffic to merchants, but with Zilio the traffic stays with the user’s shop.
Zlio now has over 220,000 stores, with 180,000 in France and 40,000 in the US. In 2007 they generated $12 million in sales for their merchant partners. Average shopkeepers make $300 per month and top sellers make around $3,000, claims Zlio. However, Zlio made headlines in May last year when Amazon banned Zlio users from promoting Amazon products on Zlio shops, as it is effectively in direct competition with Amazon’s aStore in the US.
There will be some campaigns to recruit users, but the service claims to be very viral, with 35% of users coming from the referral program. No wonder. When a user recommends Zlio to someone else, they make 10% of his future revenues for life.
Last year Zlio secured $4m in Series A funding in a round led by Mangrove Capital Partners. The company was launched in September 2006 by Jeremie Berrebi, ex founder of Net2one (sold in April 2004), David Levy & Jean Guetta. Mangrove Capital Partners is best known for its early investment in Skype. (Previous TechCrunch coverage). Jeremie told me via email that they will be opening a physical office in the UK, and launching in Germany next month. The technical team is based in Israel.
Unless I’m mistaken, I don’t believe Zlio has any direct competition in the UK, although there are plenty of normal affiliate schemes.