This is a tale as old as time: A small e-commerce owner wants to build a great landing page for their company, but the available tools only get them so far, and they don’t have the funds to hire a developer.
This is where Replo comes in, offering a low-code web platform and marketplace so that businesses can build customizable websites similar to the way a child builds with Legos.
The company is currently focused on Shopify users and offers hundreds of built-in templates that Replo shows you how to use or helps you build a page from scratch.
Users can change text, build out sections, change out products or save sections of text to a library for use on other pages. In addition, there is a section library. It also integrates with a user’s Shopify store.
You can start using Replo for free with one user and get unlimited features and previews. The next level starts at $99 a month.
Replo is targeting mid-market e-commerce companies, those that sell between $1 million and $100 million per year. Co-founder Yuxin Zhu called this “an interesting problem” because there are a spectrum of e-commerce companies, from the mom-and-pop with two people to a large household name that is working lean with 10 people.
“They don’t have any developers or have millions of dollars to hire expensive engineers,” he told TechCrunch. “However, they all still need to launch content and build out their e-commerce experience, and the part that was interesting to us is that this was a solvable problem.”
The two-year-old company was founded by Zhu and Noah Gilmore, who know a thing or two about using technology to make something better. While undergraduates at UC Berkeley, they launched and sold Berkeleytime.com, a platform that digitized Berkeley’s course scheduling system.
Prior to starting Replo, Zhu and Gilmore held senior engineering and management roles at Uber and PlanGrid, respectively. Rounding out the team at Replo is Justin Wiley, former vice president of business development at JUMP, and Steven Schlaefer, who was previously with LiveRamp.
The founders honed the company at Y Combinator as part of its Summer 2021 batch. Today, the company announced a $4.2 million seed round from backers, including Y Combinator, Infinity Ventures, La Famiglia, Figma Ventures, Guillermo Rauch (Vercel) and a group of strategic investors from the e-commerce space.
Meanwhile, connecting with Shopify is big. Shopify processed $175 billion in online sales in 2021, and the marketplace says there are “millions” of merchants using its platform.
So Replo is not alone in building infrastructure for these merchants or attracting venture capital for their approach. For example, Triple Whale, Postscript, Shop Circle and Popup all raised in the past year for their respective tools to help Shopify merchants in building their businesses.
Since officially launching the platform in 2022, Replo has over 1,000 brands and agencies using it and 300 paying customers that were onboarded in the last three months, Zhu said.
Much of the new funding will go into making strategic hires in engineering and product development to manage the demand the company is currently seeing.
“Word-of-mouth is very much a positive and a negative,” Zhu said. “It’s good when everyone starts talking about it, but we also want to build out a community and a support channel so things can happen without us, too.”
Update: February 9, 7:31 a.m. PST: Story was updated to reflect the number of Shopify merchants.