After using some of the $40 million it raised about six months ago to introduce significant platform enhancements in February, Australian software startup Bigcommerce is using some of those funds to open an office in San Francisco. It already has a development presence in Sydney and Austin, Texas.
To help accelerate innovation for its e-commerce platform, the company also has hired a new Chief Product Officer, West Stringfellow, who previously was with Amazon PayPal; and it also appointed a new Vice President of Engineering, Ron Pragides, formerly with Twitter and Salesforce.
"This is the start of something big and incredibly exciting," said Mitchell Harper, co-founder of Bigcommerce, in a statement. "We are building a platform for millions of businesses and doing for commerce what Salesforce did for CRM."
That remains to be seen, of course, but four-year-old Bigcommerce has made some pretty dramatic updates this year to its software as a service (SaaS) offering: a turnkey platform for running e-commerce sites that is used by more than 50,000 merchants.
The biggest change is its launch last month of Bigcommerce Next, which includes dozens of new store design templates, store management apps for mobile platforms including Apple iOS and Android, integration with the Stripe payments platform, and Google Trusted Stores support.
The other major addition is Single Click Apps, a way for merchants to add more than 150 complementary applications to their sites far more quickly. (An illustration is below.)
Examples of what's featured include point-of-sale (POS) applications, search engine optimization tools, social media and marketing suites, inventory management systems, and so on. More than 3,000 development partners have integrated their software with Bigcommerce; Single Click makes it far easier for users to install them without having to mess with integration code, the company said. The store is akin to the Google Apps Marketplace or the applications features as part of the Salesforce ecosystem.
"For paid apps, 70 percent of revenue goes directly to the developer," said Eddie Machaalani, co-founder and co-CEO of Bigcommerce, in a statement. "We've built a whole new way for developers to monetize their skills around commerce and apps, and the uptake so far has been incredible."
As far as pricing, the Bigcommerce Silver plan starts at $34.95 month, plus a 2 percent transaction fee. Beyond that, the plans are more flat-rate ($79.95 per month for Gold and $199.95 per month for Platinum). You get a 10 percent discount if you commit for a year.