Ecwid, a Russian startup that enables people to set up an online store on their website or on a social network in mere minutes, has raised its first round of institutional funding, securing $1.5 million from Runa Capital.
The e-commerce software company says it currently has over 100,000 customers in 174 countries, but given that about 40 percent of its customers are located in the United States, Ecwid will part of the capital to open its first office in Mountain View, California in early 2012.
In addition, Ecwid will establish an office in the UK in the spring of 2012, since roughly 30 percent of its customers are small business owners and Web studios based in the European Union.
The company provides a platform agnostic, AJAX-powered store builder widget that enables users to easily embed a fully functional online store into any Website, mobile site or social network page.
Ecwid’s widget is free to stores with fewer than 100 products, with monthly plans for bigger stores starting at $17. Payments can be handled through all major vendors, including PayPal, Google Checkout and Authorize.net. Video tutorial embedded below.
The drop-in store builder is available in 37 languages and integrates with major CMS and site builder platforms like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal as well as all blogging software and social networks including Facebook, Ning or any other OpenSocial-enabled network.
Ecwid currently has 18 employees based in its Ulyanovsk, Russia headquarters, many of whom hail from PHP shopping cart maker X-Cart.