Social online shopping business Shopa has raised $11 million in a Series A funding round led by Octopus Investments and Notion Capital.
Shopa provides an online social marketplace where shoppers can share their preferences – creating data for both customers and retailers alike. It describes itself as a “next-generation” e-commerce app.
The money has been earmarked to increase the brand’s presence in the booming Chinese and Indian markets – having established itself in the UK and US markets since its launch in November 2012.
Its business model revolves around monetising the power of personal recommendation in the online retail space. Its success led to it being named IBM European start-up of the year for 2013.
One of the two main investment partners, Notion Capital, is an entrepreneur-backed VC firm that invests in cloud and SaaS companies including The Currency Cloud and Tradeshift.
The other funding round leader, Octopus Investments, focuses on start-ups with high-growth potential and the ability to dominate their respective markets. Their interests include Zoopla Property Group and Secret Escapes.
Octopus’s Luke Hakes praised Shopa for “raising the bar in terms of monetising personal recommendations”.
“With its unique focus on social, we are hugely excited about the opportunity that Shopa represents and know it will quickly carve itself a place alongside other heavyweight global retailers,” he said.
Shopa founder and CEO Peter Janes added that in the e-commerce space “many brands are failing to fully embrace the value of social in connecting people to their products”.
“Shopa has been cleverly built to provide retailers with a global marketplace for reaching millions of customers, as well as providing the perfect platform to hugely amplify noise around their brands and products all over the world,” he said.
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