"Pre-commerce" platform Celery secures $2M in seed funds

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Feb 06, 2014 08:06 PM EST

San Francisco, California-based Celery received $2 million for its seed funding round, a statement about the funding said. The financing came from Y Combinator, SV Angel, Max Levchin and other investors. The seed money will be used to build the team and develop the features of the platform so that it becomes an embeddable, mobile-centric storefront that all merchants can use.

As a "pre-commerce" store builder dedicated to online and mobile shopping, Celery enables companies to offer their products before they are ready to ship. Device manufacturers like Pebble Smartwatch and August Smart Lock and up-and-coming brands like Bohemian Guitars and clothing makers like Hillflint sell their products on the platform which was rolled out in May. By enabling companies to accept credit cards immediately and charge when they are ready, Celery helps avoid chargebacks for firms that take pre-orders or sell on backorder.

Celery Chief Executive Officer Christ Tsai said in the statement, "With pre-orders, we accelerate the revenue of the companies in the booming crowdfunded economy. Now we're going to build the next-generation storefront for all merchants, and that means giving them something well-designed and mobile-first."

Citing data from eMarketer, the statement said that e-commerce revenue for merchants in the US was at $260 billion last year. That figure is expected to rise around 16% annually. Revenue from mobile commerce comprises about $42 billion of that amount, the statement said.

According to Celery, in the early- stage pre-order segment where it leads, about 3 million people promised $480 million to Kickstarter projects alone in 2013. Celery allows these kinds of projects to proceed after their efforts to crowdfund ends. Most of the startups take pre-orders to fund the development of new hardware and products in what is now viewed to be another industrial revolution, the statement said.

Tsai added, "With month-on-month growth of 30 percent, Celery is fueling that wave of innovation. We solved pre-orders, and now we're going to redefine and redesign the rest of e-commerce."

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