Lebanon Businessnews News

‘ShopBuilder’ looking to raise funds with VCs
Platform to help
build e-shopping websites
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A new portal, created by Emile Boustani and Julien Fayad, is dedicated to merchants who want to build and manage online stores. It is searching for venture capital funding: “We are looking to raise funds to push our growth and development further,” said Fayad. “We are reaching for venture capital funds.”

The added value of the website is a comprehensive package of services. ShopBuilder already partnered with Bank Audi to provide merchants with a payment gateway.

“Merchants will only have to fill few papers with Bank Audi in order to get their account ready.” According to Fayad, Bank Audi charges the e-payment account at $350, but it will be offered for free to ShopBuilder merchants.

Cash on delivery service is also available through Aramex. PayPal is also usable for those who have active accounts.

ShopBuilder charges their clients-merchants $70 per month. The fee includes a mobile-friendly website, maintenance and technical support. When they register for the first time, the merchants will get $50-worth in Facebook ads credits, and $50-worth in Google Adwords credits. Merchants will also have access to a management and monitoring mobile app. ShopBuilder also offers a newsletter manager, allowing the merchants to send up to 12,000 emails a month to up to 2,000 subscribers for free.

The website has secured the business of five startups. Three more are in the pipeline. According to Fayad, the program is user friendly: In less than ten minutes, merchants can choose a design for their website, upload products with descriptions, and start selling their products.

Fayad said that revenues will be generated through subscriptions. “Profits are not our target now. We are currently focusing on improving our product and reaching more clients.”

ShopBuilder will be eyeing expansion in the Middle East and Europe at a later stage.

The website address: www.shopbuilder.me.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Mar 25, 2014
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