Payvment, a startup that allows anyone to create and operate a retail storefront on Facebook, has raised $1.5 million in Series A funding round led by BlueRun Ventures, with a number of angel investors, including Dave McClure, participating in the round.
Payvment’s Facebook App lets anyone create a retail store on the social network. The app lets you set up products, categories of products (i.e. shoes, T-shirts, sweaters), import photos, list terms of service and shipping options and more. Once you set up your online shop on Facebook, it will show up in a separate tab on your profile or page under “storefront”.
Since the company launched in November, over 20,000 businesses and individuals have started to sell goods on Facebook and over 500,000 Facebook users have shopped for products in stores using the Payvment app. Most recently, Payvment launched the ability for for retailers to provide instant discounts and coupons to users that become Fans or “Like” their fan pages. Other compelling features of Payvment’s technology is the ability to review items from within the store and the ability to allow shoppers to carry their goods with them across thousands of Payvment-powered storefronts on Facebook. It makes shopping on Facebook almost like shopping at Target, where you can visit multiple departments and buy all of your diverse purchases at once.
Noticeably missing from Payvment is monetization channel. But founder Christian Taylor says that the startup is still working on developing its product and will approach the revenue question at a later time. But as retailers flock to Facebook for both brand awareness and e-commerce, Payyvment’s free offerings are attractive because the platform is a one-stop shop for both efforts. However, Payvment isn’t the first to implement this strategy; 1-800-Flowers started offering discounts to users who became fans of its page last July. The startup also faces competition from BigCommerce, Alvenda and others.