Stockholm’s sweetheart startup, Tictail, announces today that it has raised €5.3 million in Series A funding led by New York-based Thrive capital and followed London’s Balderton Capital, Berlin’s Project A Ventures, and Stockholm-based Creandum.
“Alone money doesn’t create value, its how you spend it. It’s more of a milestone than anything else, but we’re super proud to have crossed it,” says Tictail CEO Carl Waldekranz.
Tictail’s e-commerce platform allows anyone to set up a free online store that looks beautiful and simple. The basic functions of the store are free and merchants aren’t charged on percentage sales, as opposed to their competitors, but Tictail does charge merchants for use of apps in their apps marketplace, such as Discounts, Password Protection on items, and Sellfy digital downloads.
Previously Tictail has raised an impressive €1.2 million in seed capital back in a round led by Balderton Capital. At the time, the focus was on development and expansion and back then they only had 5000 stores, compared to an impressive 35,000 stores with over 1 million SKUs. In 2013, they raised an intermediary round of €600k from Project A Ventures. So the total funding for the company now sits at €7.63 million.
The company’s CEO Carl Waldekranz has recently been traveling to New York to set up their U.S. office, while co-founders Kaj Drobin, Birk Nilson, and Siavash Ghorbani continue to work out of Stockholm. Currently 15% of Tictail’s stores are based in the U.S., suggesting they have much more room to grow in what should be their largest market.
“When we decided it was time to raise our A round we decided at an early stage we wanted a lead U.S. investor. And we decided that the next step for us is to ramp up our networks and apply the same approach to the U.S. [that we’ve done in Europe],” says Waldekranz.
So the company went on a road show, and met a number of investors on the east and west coast. Along the way, Waldekranz got to know the Thrive investors well, who impressed them with their similar future vision, and with how thorough they went over the company. Thrive Capital has also previously invested in Stockholm-based Spotify.
Also as part of that strategy they’ve also brought on a number of strategic angel investors, to include Scott Belsky of Behance, Any Dunn of Red Swan Ventures, Nick D’alossio of Summly, and Jesse Derris of Derris & company.
For the future, Tictail says they’re going to continue to keep their product team in Stockholm, and move some marketing and Sales into New York. The team is internally calling 2014 the ‘year of the consumer’ as they plan to flesh out more community features for their platform in order to help consumers find online stores they resonate with, and to help those customers connect with the entrepreneur behind the store.