Funds will go toward building the team and disrupting $260 billion e-commerce market
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — FEBRUARY 5, 2014 — Celery, the “pre-commerce” store builder for online and mobile shopping, has raised $2 million in seed funding from Y Combinator, SV Angel, Max Levchin and other top investors. The funds will go toward building the team and extending platform features to become an embeddable, mobile-centric storefront for all merchants.
Celery’s pre-order storefront lets companies sell products before they’re ready to ship. Launched in May, Celery helps device makers Pebble Smartwatch and August Smart Lock, rising brands like Bohemian Guitars and apparel makers such as Hillflint, sell their products. Celery helps avert chargebacks for companies taking pre-orders or selling on backorder, by allowing them to take credit cards immediately and charge when they’re ready.
"With pre-orders, we accelerate the revenue of the companies in the booming crowdfunded economy," said CEO Chris Tsai. "Now we’re going to build the next-generation storefront for all merchants, and that means giving them something well-designed and mobile-first."
E-commerce generated about $260 billion in revenue for U.S. merchants last year, eMarketer estimates, an amount that is growing about 16 percent per year. Of that, mobile commerce accounted for about $42 billion.
In the early-stage pre-order space that Celery already dominates, 3 million people pledged about $480 million to Kickstarter projects alone last year. Celery helps projects like these continue taking orders after their crowdfunding campaign ends. Many of them take pre-orders to finance new hardware and products amid what’s widely considered to be another industrial revolution.
“Companies like Nest are proof that the hardware renaissance has arrived and you can build a massive business within the ‘Internet of Things,’ ” Tsai said. “With month-on-month growth of 30 percent, Celery is fueling that wave of innovation. We solved pre-orders, and now we’re going to redefine and redesign the rest of e-commerce.”
Celery was founded in 2012 by a team of software developers, electrical engineers and e-commerce professionals who foresaw the shift toward hardware pre-orders and mobile shopping. They built the first pre-order software and e-commerce platform designed for mobile buyer and seller interactions. The company is headquartered in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood. For more information, visit www.trycelery.com.
Celery’s customers include the most successful Kickstarter project ever: Pebble Smartwatch, which raised more than $10 million. Others are 3Doodler ($2.3 million), Airtame ($1.3 million on Indiegogo), Rigidbot ($1.1 million), Neptune Pine ($801,000) and Omate Truesmart ($1 million).