Shopstar, an e-commerce platform in South Africa, has received third round funding. This is the beginning of its next phase to scale.
Founded in 2014, Shopstar is a cloud-based e-commerce platform that enables local entrepreneurs to build online stores and grow their businesses by offering easy to use, professional services.
After assessing the potential business in late 2018, Mike Joubert, a seasoned investor and entrepreneur, started the second round and became the majority shareholder. He also began its turnaround strategy and began scaling it up for growth.
“What sets Shopstar apart from other e-commerce offerings is that its entire purpose is focused on helping South African entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses, and make sales. This sets it apart from the bigger international platforms – we have a passionate belief in making South Africa a better place by growing the South African entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Joubert said.
The business has now secured further funding from Launch Africa Ventures, which has provided early-stage investment for over 60 high-potential African tech startups so far.
“We saw potential right from the get-go with Shopstar. It’s a local business that walks the road alongside its customers and it is 100 percent invested in its success. Our aim is now to scale quickly and we are looking to double revenue this year,” said managing partner Zachariah George.
Chris Edington, a local entrepreneur, has been appointed as the CEO of the company to oversee its growth.
“What really got me excited about Shopstar is its simplicity and relevance to South African entrepreneurs. It’s easy to use, simple and user-friendly. You can get an online shop started in five easy steps, in under 10 minutes and with no coding knowledge or design experience required,” Edington said.
“It means it’s incredibly democratic – now, any entrepreneur, whatever stage of their journey they are on, is able to open their business up to endless possibilities and audiences. And we offer unique professional services to also help them make sales.”
Edington will implement ways to make Shopstar more useful for small businesses.
“We are introducing new ways to assist our customers grow their businesses and make more sales. Shopstar Boost is a new service that helps customers set up professional shops in no time. This includes store design, graphic design such as logos, getting started on social media and copywriting – essentially bridging the gap between SMEs and the marketing agency services they often can’t afford,” he said.
“We were also first to offer South African dropshipping, which allows customers to build their own shop and sell products from hundreds of other small businesses – essentially a risk-free way of getting started quickly.