Founder and CEO Jon Crawford wants to turn Storenvy into the “Gutenberg printing press of stores.” The company shared today that it has hit a couple of major milestones including 1 million registered members, 1 million products, 50,000 active stores, and monthly sales surpassing $2.5 million.
Storenvy makes it easy for anyone to open an online store. It provides an e-commerce platform with tools for designing a digital storefront, displaying products, marketing, online checkout, inventory and order tracking, delivering deals, and sales tracking. Clients can either use Storenvy to power their own branded site or sell their items on Storenvy’s marketplace.
Crawford started out working as an e-commerce consultant for small businesses in Kansas City, Missouri. He saw how many small business owners struggled to set up fully featured online stores and was inspired to create a product that would “demystify” the process.
“We aim to be a place where anyone can be a kick ass online merchant, without having to think about it as e-commerce,” Crawford said in an interview at Storenvy’s office. “We look for merchants with a story behind them, and we want consumers to find unique products that can help them better express themselves.”
After gaining some traction in Missouri, Crawford moved to San Francisco and was accepted into Y Combinator, although he left the program after his cofounders decided to stay behind. He then found himself cofounder-less and accelerator-less in San Francisco, without a place to live, funding, or many local contacts. He decided to stick it out, going through what he described as the worst month of his life, and managed to build Storenvy into what it is today.
The company has since raised $6.5 million from Intel Capital, Spark Capital, and First Round Capital, and built out a robust two-sided marketplace. The store builder was the first step, but Crawford said that this does not solve the problems many merchants face with awareness, and distribution. Storenvy therefore created a marketplace that aggregates all the items from all of the stores on the platform, and turns it into a social shopping experience.
Storenvy’s marketplace has a mix of clothing, jewelry, home decor, art, music, books, health and beauty products, food etc… Like Etsy and Wanelo, it is a goldmine for quirky items like coffee mugs that look like camera lenses, shark bikinis, and cupcake sweatshirts. You can browse by staff picks, popular items, category, keyword, or by store owner. I personally found myself struck by the bright unisex onesies and angry unicorn tee-shirts. And highly distracted by all the other wacky things.
Users “envy” items they like and Storenvy gets over 1.5 million “envies” a month. Now with funding and traction under its belt, the company hired people from Wantful, Seamless, Yelp, and Evenbrite to build out a “killer” leadership team and continue its momentum. Its main competitor is Shopify, and there is also some overlap with Magento, Etsy, Bigcommerce, Big Cartel, Volusion, and others.