Online marketplace Tictail raises $22M, competes with Etsy, Amazon

E-commerce start-up Tictail has raised $22 million in a Series B funding, led by Thrive Capital. The new funding will help Tictail to expand its mobile marketplace, where designers host storefronts in order to directly reach shoppers.

Founded in 2012, Tictail is predominantly focused on helping small businesses launch their stores online, Wired reported. Today it hosts tens of thousands of companies, and now wants to turn its focus to hosting local designers and reaching shoppers directly.

Tictail is going after the growing 6 percent of retail sales that are made online. It joins competitors, who also showcase small businesses and local goods, such as Etsy, Shopify and, of course, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

So a Tictail user is both a store owner and a shopper. When a consumer goes on the site, she is able to set up her own shop to sell items and can also see designers that are both local and from around the world.

The site connects shoppers with items that are available in their language and currency, and also offers shipment to their location. The app uses an algorithm to show the shopper items based on location and also takes into account rankings based on likes, follows and store success.

Tictail still needs to find its niche in the online marketplace world, but thus far has the feel of a European mall, filled with boutiques.

"We don't think Tictail as a community is an experience curated by us, it's curated by the community," Tictail's co-founder and chief executive Carl Waldekranz told Wired. "And as it grows, that means anyone could hop onto Tictail to try to sell their goods—be it a crafty, DIY small business or a less unique, big one. As a platform, its future may then rest more with its users than itself."

For more:
-See this Wired article

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