Staytuned bags $34M in equity, debt to build ‘Salesforce suite for e-commerce’

Staytuned Digital has $34 million in new equity and debt to continue developing a software suite for e-commerce brands with a goal of what co-founder Serge Kassardjian described as “the Salesforce suite for e-commerce stores.”

“E-commerce has completely shifted and is moving to these emerging platforms, with Shopify being the biggest one,” he said. “In turn, we’re buying and building software that’s around the Shopify ecosystem.”

The software company focuses on Shopify merchants and acquires and builds e-commerce applications. It has acquired seven apps so far and is working with more than 28,000 customers, Kassardjian told TechCrunch.

While Kassardjian declined to disclose revenue growth, he did say the company was EBITDA positive in the fourth quarter.

The new investment includes $9 million in equity and $25 million in debt, with the option of taking up to $25 million more, Kassardjian said. To date, the company has raised $46.5 million in a combination of equity and debt.

Investors in the new round include TenOneTen, Rembrandt VC, Hawke Ventures, DragonX, FJ Labs, Interlace, Riverpark Ventures, Comma Capital, Kotti Capital, Alumni Ventures Group, Jason Finger and a group of angel investors. Tacora Capital led the debt funding.

TechCrunch profiled Staytuned back in 2019 when the company was focused on video. Kassardjian said that 11 months after starting the company, he and co-founder Randy Jimenez realized the product didn’t work and did “a hard pivot.”

“We went to our board and told them that we had burned very little capital, say a half a million or so,” Kassardjian said. “All our investors were like, ‘we invested in you guys and we believe in you.’ So we went back to the drawing board and this was a successful pivot. We brought in a whole new set of investors as well, and every valuation has been higher and higher.”

Lauralynn Drury has since joined the founding team to help build the products and scale the strategy.

The new funding will enable Staytuned to acquire more apps — Kassardjian said there is a long pipeline of potential apps to acquire — hire additional engineers and scale faster.

“Software is super high-margin and it grows faster than Shopify, while Shopify grows faster than the e-commerce ecosystem,” Kassardjian said. “So if we buy and build enough software, we can have the largest hub of brands and merchants using the software, which is going to drive e-commerce in the future.”