Medusa’s open-source e-commerce tool for JavaScript developers aims to take on Shopify – TechCrunch


Merchants building businesses on giant marketplaces often have to think inside the marketplace box, but year-old Danish e-commerce startup Medusa is taking on commerce platforms electronics, like Shopify and WooCommerce, with its open-source alternative aimed at the JavaScript developer community.

Co-founders Sebastian Rindom, Oliver Juhl and Nicklas Gellner started the company a year ago, although they’ve been working on the software for four years with a first client. What they discovered, helping this client scale their business through the Shopify and WooCommerce marketplaces, is that they had to do more workarounds and coding hacks than they thought.

“You’re limited on how to build software for customers to see scale,” Rindom told TechCrunch. “The client was bullish on e-commerce and wanted to double their revenue in a year, so we worked to figure out which platform they could migrate to to achieve this, and Medusa was the result.”

The company’s technology is essentially APIs that provide a “headless” offering – meaning the storefront technology is separated from the back-end technology so that customizations and maintenance can be done in one section without disrupting each other – for merchants who want to be more in control of their e-commerce technology stack.

Rather than scrambling, users can leverage default implementations that Rindom claims are equivalent to Shopify’s functionality, including APIs that connect to various tools including payment providers, logistics tools, and vendors. customer management systems. Then, when users outgrow these, they can log into a third-party tool or create one themselves.

Rindom explained that current marketplaces provide some basic APIs to integrate, but if you want to experiment with fulfillment, subscriptions, or a wholesale channel, it requires access outside of this standard API. Instead, Medusa provides a more modular architecture that allows users to do anything.

It’s clear that even Shopify sees the need for more features to get its users up and running quickly. The future of the digital commerce software market will be driven by the growth of the e-commerce market itself, which is poised to be a trillion-dollar market within the decade.

We’ve also seen venture capital investment increase in the areas with companies like Fabric, Shopware, CommerceIQ and Swell securing funding over the past six months for headless commerce approaches and infrastructure. Other startups, like Shop Circle, are also developing software for Shopify merchants to do more in the marketplace.

Medusa itself is part of this group having raised $8 million in seed funding in a round co-led by LocalGlobe and Dawn Capital, with participation from a group of individual investors, including the founder and CEO from Squarespace Anthony Casalena, Algolia founder Nicolas Dessaigne and former GitLab exec. Scott Williamson. Combined with a Seedcamp pre-seed round last year, the company brought in almost $9 million in total funding.

Much of the technology in this space, including Shopify, is over a decade old, which has made Medusa an attractive investment, Dawn partner Mina Mutafchieva said in a written statement.

“As a result, pain points for e-commerce merchants are exploding and most, if not all, we’ve spoken to at Dawn over the past two years are using ineffective ‘workarounds’ to achieve their business goals,” added Mutafchieva. . “Balancing the right level of a user-friendly API approach with a high degree of customization, Medusa’s product is a dream for developers and merchants who need to customize their platforms while maintaining performance and response times. maximum.”

Medusa is already active in e-commerce stores, selling over $100 million a year, and in less than a year has amassed a community of over 2,000 developers who have launched some 10,000 projects on the platform. .

Rindom hasn’t disclosed its revenue figures, in part because there’s no monetization game at the moment. It’s something that’s planned, he said, but the company is now more focused on validating its technology and getting it adopted.

This is where the funding will ultimately roll out, which includes creating products and small APIs, creating content around those APIs, and defining materials on how to use them. Medusa is looking to hire additional developers and engineers and invest more in community efforts and building partnerships.

Future plans include creating a cloud tool for the product that will allow users to connect their GitHub repository to Medusa’s infrastructure to control its tools. It’s something the company will charge for, but “it’s still a bit ahead for the future,” Rindom said.


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