Consumer online shopping habits have led to a windfall of revenues for these web storefronts, but COVID-era trends have also breathed new life into the market for developer tools that help e-commerce sites operate more smoothly for shoppers.
LA-based Nacelle is one of many e-commerce infrastructure startups to earn attention from investors amid COVID.
The web services company helps streamline the backends of e-commerce websites with a so-called “headless” platform that shifts how the front-end of websites interact with content in the backend. The startup claims its tech can boost performance, promote better scalability, cut down on hosting costs and offer developers a more streamlined experience.
Nacelle has closed an $18 million Series A led by Inovia with participation from Accomplice, Index Ventures, High Alpha, Silas Capital and Lerer Hippeau. The company just closed a $4.8 million seed round in mid-2020, the speedy pace of their Series A's close seems to speak to the investor enthusiasm that has deepened around companies operating in the e-commerce world.
“It’s not secret that commerce has done well during COVID,” CEO Brian Anderson tells TechCrunch. “Not only did we get this subtle structural change with COVID that I believe is long-lasting, but merchants have been focusing more on performance.”
One of the startup's central points of focus has been ensuring that they can bring customers onboard its platform without causing undue headaches. It can be “very painful to migrate data” with other services, Anderson says. The company's service is “anti rip-and-replace,” meaning potential customer can integrate “without having to be rebuild their stores.”
The firm's customer base is largely made up of small to medium-sized e-commerce sites. Nacelle works closely with agencies for customer referrals, also tapping on Anderson's past contacts from his days running a Shopify Plus agency.
This past August, data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index suggested that pandemic trends had accelerated the consumer shift from primarily visiting to physical stores to shopping on e-commerce storefronts by roughly five years.