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Russia has been a bit of a rough neighborhood for tech startups, but a Ulyanovsk-based startup called Ecwid just received $1.5 million in its first round of funding from Runa Capital, the first serious angel investment group in Russia. Ecwid builds seamlessly integrated online stores for any website or social media page.
The company has produced a cut-and-paste widget that quickly builds a web store for any website in less than five minutes. The widget works with any existing website, including major content management systems such as WordPress and Joomla. It can also be used to create a web store on Facebook and accepts payments from major payment systems such as PayPal and Google Checkout. The service starts at $17 for stores with over 100 products, and Ecwid offers a free widget for smaller stores.
“Ecwid is unlike any other e-commerce application, as it allows a store owner to retain his/her existing site, design and CMS,” said Ruslan R. Fazlyev, Ecwid’s founder and CEO, pictured left. “Installation is as simple as dropping in our code, so adding an online store to any existing web and social network presence is as easy as embedding a YouTube video.”
Ecwid plans to put this round of funding towards opening its first U.S. and U.K. offices in the spring of next year. The offices will be based in Mountain View, Calif. and London. Ecwid’s goal is to grow sales to include small business owners and web studios.
Ecwid was founded in 2009, growing out of Fazlyev’s first start-up, X-Cart. The company currently has eighteen employees. Runa Capital is the first serious angel investment group in Russia and has helped build up the tech startup industry there.
Check out the video below for a demo of how Ecwid works.