Believe it or not, there are still a lot of stores (including manufacturers and suppliers) that operate, mostly, offline. Juan Macías, who has been involved with the ecommerce industry for more than 10 years as a consultant and founder of toy store demartina, says that 99% of suppliers his company works with don’t even have a fully online catalogue of products.
While this observation was just made a few days ago, Macias saw this firsthand a decade ago and sought to build a business that could take advantage of it. “I first had the idea in 2006 and presented it to various investors, but most of them said it didn’t make sense at the time and they were probably right”, says Macias in a conversation with Novobrief.
Fast forward 8 years and the ecommerce landscape has vastly changed and not only are more and more people buying products online, but suppliers and manufacturers are also turning to marketplaces such as Amazon’s and many others to sell their products directly to consumers, bypassing -less efficient- middlemen.
That idea Macias had in 2006 now makes sense, and that’s why in 2014 he decided to launch QaShops from the southern city of Seville.
QaShops’ software connects suppliers and manufacturers with marketplaces and other online stores to easily allow the former to sell their products online. This concept, which existed in other regions in the form of products such as Neteven, Channeladvisor or Mirakl, facilitates the offline to online transition to many merchants.
“We work together with manufacturers who are not familiar with ecommerce and we build it all for them”, says Macias, referring to digitising their catalogues, managing inventory and integrating with marketplaces, picking and delivery of items, etc.
The company says that it has two main types of clients, suppliers who wish to sell worldwide from day one and stores (El Corte Inglés, Privalia) that are transitioning towards a marketplace model. “We help these accelerate their transformation”, Macias explains.
QaShops’ SaaS product is bringing in €100,000 in monthly revenue while growing at a 20 to 30% rate, mostly from international clients (60% of the company’s business is outside of Spain). Numbers that, barring a catastrophe, are set to increase in the short term thanks to a €1 million round the company has just closed from Axon Partners Group and Bankinter Capital Riesgo, the venture arm of the Spanish bank.
“We’ve generated cash flows since day one and this investment round will help us accelerate even more”, Macias notes. “We feel like there’s still a big opportunity in the retail and distribution sector and this is just the tip of the iceberg”. Prior to this round, QaShops had raised money from Carlos Blanco, Elena Gómez del Pozuelño, Toubkal Partners and other small investors.
“B2B has never been a sexy sector for Spanish investors”, he adds. “Thank god, that’s now changing”.
Photo | Fosforix