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SA e-commerce platform Shopstar secured 3rd funding round, plans expansion

Shopstar, a South African e-commerce platform, has raised a third round of capital as it moves forward with its growth goal.

Shopstar, a cloud-based e-commerce platform, was founded in 2014 to help local entrepreneurs create online storefronts and develop their companies by providing easy-to-use, professional services.

Mike Joubert, a seasoned entrepreneur and investor, began the second round of investment and became the company’s majority stakeholder in late 2018, after appraising the company’s potential. He began the turnaround plan and began scaling it 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.

Launch Africa Ventures, which has already invested in over 60 high-potential African tech firms, has now committed further money to the company.

“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 their success. Our aim is now to scale quickly and we are looking to double revenue this year,” said managing partner Zachariah George.

As part of its expansion strategy, local entrepreneur Chris Edington has been hired as CEO to guide the company forward.

“What really got me excited about Shopstar is its simplicity and relevance to South African entrepreneurs. It is simple, easy 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 work on ideas to improve the Shopstar platform so that it can assist small companies to start, run, and flourish.

“We are introducing new ways to assist our customers to grow their businesses and make more sales. We have just introduced Shopstar Boost, which offers a suite of services aimed at getting our customers up and operating with professional stores 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.”

 

 

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