Brands are spending tons of money on social media, so why shouldn’t they use those same networks to make some extra sales? Soldsie‘s working on that.
Today, selling-on-social-media service Soldsie is announcing that it has raised $4 million as its first round of institutional funding. First Round Capital led the round, with additional contributions from SoftTech VC, Lerer Ventures, Correlation Ventures, Great Oaks Ventures, e.Ventures, 500 startups, and angel investors such as Ken Landis, Richard Gernstein, Tom Kelly, and Christine Herron. The company plans on using its new funds to grow its teams, further its relationships with large household brands and retailers, and increasing its capabilities to bring on customers.
In short, Soldsie enables brands to turn their Facebook page and Instagram account into a marketplace by turning the comments sections into a bidding war.
“Right when social commerce is heating up, Soldsie has built a modern and effective tool to help companies grow their online sales through new channels,” said First Round Capital founder and partner Josh Kopelman in an official statement.
Soldsie’s service is quite timely, as we’ve been seeing other companies experiment with social-media commerce such as Amazon’s #AmazonCart tool in partnership with Twitter.
But beyond that, Soldsie may find itself in a useful position given all of the activity and discourse about advertising on Instagram. The photo-sharing app has been experimenting with advertising partnerships and recently signed its first deal with advertising agency Omnicom. Soldsie would be an obvious and natural complementary tool as it would enable brands to turn their Instagram ads into sales right from the pictures’ comments.
The company has released that it has now processed $25 million in sales, 70 percent of people follow through after claiming an item during a sale, 60 percent of checkouts take place at least 30 minutes after an item is claimed, and 70 percent of checkouts happen through mobile devices.
This last metric is particularly interesting as it reinforces the model of mobile-only shopping apps such as Poshmark, Vinted, and Twice, among many others. These apps’ interfaces look much like Soldsie’s, especially on Instagram: Feeds of big photos with comment threads where sales take place.
For example, back in November, Poshmark said that it was on track to have $350 million worth of inventory sell through its app — not bad for a photo feed with comments.
Soldsie was founded in 2012 by Arrel Gray, Edward Robertshaw, Chris Bennett and is based in San Francisco. In March 2013, it raised $1 million in seed funding from FundersClub, 500 Startups, and other angel investors.