TORONTO, July 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Shopcastr, a social marketplace for local
retailers and shoppers, announced today that it has closed a $1 million
round of financing from a group of investors including Mantella Venture
Partners (MVP), Salim Teja, David Anderson, James Hou, David Austin,
BNOTIONS and the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund. This new investment
follows an initial seed investment received from MVP and friends and
family last year.
Shopcastr gives local retailers something they have not had - an online
platform designed to increase foot traffic into their shops as well as
a hassle-free way to sell their products online.
"Increased competition from online stores and the new social shopping
habits of consumers are necessitating a greater online presence for
local retailers," says Shopcastr founder and CEO, Matt O'Leary. "This
is challenging for retailers as they are universally time-starved and
have varying degrees of digital marketing savvy and resources. Their
existing websites are often poorly designed, out of date and tend to
generate little traffic."
Shopcastr is a simple-to-use web and mobile platform that empowers
retailers to manage their online presence and to display their products
beautifully, easily and instantly on the Shopcastr website, as well as
through Twitter and Facebook. The easy to use Shopcastr app allows
retailers to move from sign-up to a live store page and product feed in
less than one minute.
Investor Salim Teja, who is a respected leader in Canada's start-up and
venture capital communities, is very positive about Shopcastr's
future. "Independent retailers have very unique digital needs that
until now, have not been effectively met," says Teja, "Shopcastr's
remarkably simple to use platform solves their most difficult
web-related problems up to and including e-commerce.
Unlike many social shopping sites, there is a strong hyper-local focus
on Shopcastr and retailers are able to fully control and maintain their
own unique brand presence and personality through customization tools.
Shoppers visiting Shopcastr are able to discover new shops and
neighbourhoods in their city. They can view a live feed of the latest
and most unique products and purchase them in-store or online.
Investor BNOTIONS is a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD).
Their knowledge of the social marketing space adds strategic value to
O'Leary's fellow founders are CTO Aron Jones and COO Judy Sims, who was
formerly Vice President Digital Media at the Toronto Star and currently
serves on Postmedia Network's digital advisory board. This investment
will allow them to build mobile apps for both retailers and consumers,
increase consumer awareness of the site and to expand operations into
Shopcastr is already experiencing excellent traction in Toronto with
over 625 shops signed-up and over 12,000 products posted.
Shopcastr is a one-of-a-kind social marketplace for local retailers and
shoppers. Our platform is designed to increase foot traffic into shops
and also provides a hassle-free way for local retailers to sell
products online. We believe that a healthy local retail community
makes neighbourhoods stronger, is good for the economy and better for
Shopcastr is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and is funded by Mantella
Venture Partners, Salim Teja, David Anderson, James Hou, David Austin,
BNOTIONS and the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund.
About Mantella Venture Partners
Mantella Venture Partners is a $20M early stage investment fund with a
hands-on approach to building technology companies in high growth
markets. The fund invests in founders focused on creating
market-altering mobile and Internet software businesses, and surrounds
them with an ecosystem of passionate, experienced operators that drive
early market engagement into sustainable business success. Mantella
Venture Partners is managed by Robin Axon and Duncan Hill, experienced
venture investors and company builders who've been involved in multiple
successful venture exits to companies including Google, Rogers Media,
IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Siemens. Additional information is available
About MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund
MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) (Twitter: @MaRSIAF) invests in qualified emerging companies in Ontario using an
equity-type instrument. As a critical component of the Ontario Network
of Excellence (ONE), the IAF supports the launch and development of
innovative businesses in Ontario's priority sectors of advanced
materials and manufacturing, information technology, cleantech and life
sciences. The IAF is funded by the Government of Ontario and delivered
by MaRS. For more information please visit http://www.marsdd.com/IAF.
For further information:
For interview requests, please contact: Lu Curran, Director of Marketing, Shopcastr at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416.885.5466