After a brief hiatus from any official tech role, former Tumblr president John Maloney will be joining the board of custom store platform Storenvy this week. A combination of a custom storefront builder and an eCommerce discovery platform like Wanelo or TheFancy, Storenvy allows sellers to build their own custom marketplaces and scale those marketplaces as part of the Storenvy network, like this and this.
“We’re the only company that is doing both custom storefronts and a central network that connects everything,” says Storenvy founder Jon Crawford. ”The network (including the Storenvy Facebook app) becomes the thing that people use the product for.”
Maloney’s prior experience could be a boon in his new role, as Crawford compares competing products like Yahoo Stores and Shopify to WordPress (with emphasis on power and features), and offers that, in contrast, Storenvy is more like Tumblr with its emphasis on being easy and fun and accessible.
“Very much like Tumblr, the strategy of the business here is ‘Get to scale,’” he says. “We’re the next generation of the white-label storefront, attracting young, creative and visually driven people — basically the Tumblr generation.”
The company monetizes by offering premium features like upgrades for storefronts, custom domains for $4.99/month and advanced discount features for $2.99/month. He mentions that the startup has 23k stores to Shopify’s 30k, an accomplishment when you consider Storenvy has nine employees to Shopify’s 150 employees. He also reveals that the startup is seeing 400 percent annual growth in transaction volume and is currently bringing in over $1 million a month in sales across the network.
So what are the future plans for the self-proclaimed “Tumblr for eCommerce”? Currently consisting of just Maloney and Crawford, the board will be adding new members in the coming months in order to further guide its ambitious plans. “We want to be the default answer to the question, ‘Where do I set up my online store?’” Crawford says. When I mention that the answer to that question is usually (as of right now) eBay, Crawford balks, “Well how nice is that?”
Storenvy (Angelist profile here) has raised $1.53 million in funding from Spark Capital, First Round Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Charles River Ventures and more. They are also hiring.
Storenvy is the only store builder and marketplace in one. Merchants can create branded online storefronts in minutes, for free. The social marketplace allows them to connect with customers they wouldn’t have otherwise reached. The Storenvy Facebook app gives merchants a free store on their Facebook page. Shoppers discover long-tail products in interesting ways and, when they buy, feel great about supporting brands with a story behind them. Like Tumblr has evolved blogging to be super simple, free and social,...