Social Shop and SanomaVentures have just announced the closure of a new funding round for the social commerce platform. The deal comes two months after SanomaVentures latest investment in Roomlr, marking its third investment in this year.
Social Shop enables customers to set up their own online shop, in which they can select and promote their favourite products and offer deals to their own friends. Shopkeepers receive a (transparent) commission for any sales made through their own shopfronts. They can also choose to return part of this commission to their friends as an extra incentive (or friendly gesture).
The social shopping site was founded in 2012 by Sander Dullaart, who previously co-founded social business consultancy Favela Fabric (sold recently to Conversion Company). Dullaart and company went on to win an Accenture Innovation Award in 2013 and have so far managed to convince over 30.000 people to open their own shop.
Besides shopfronts, the number of partners Social Shop cooperates with is also growing. Brands such as KPN and ANWB have recently joined and offer special deals to Social Shop shopkeepers and their friends. For brands Shopkeepers essentially are new brand advocates and form a new direct sales channel.
The investment by Sanoma, will be used by Social Shop to further develop the platform and initially continue the roll-out of the concept within the Netherlands. Sanoma also offers the startup other benefits, Dullaart: “We also wanted expertise in the field of online marketing, lead generation and e-commerce. With Sanoma we found that, plus, the portfolio of Sanoma and SanomaVentures offers many opportunities for cooperation which can further accelerate our growth”.
Herman Kienhuis, Investment Director SanomaVentures on his motivation for the deal: “We sees ample growth opportunities in ‘social commerce’, meaning mouth-to-mouth marketing via digital channels, effectively generating sales. Social Shop […] can complement Sanoma’s offering in this space”.
Photo by Pieter van Marion (creative commons via Flickr)