Live shopping e-commerce sales have had a meteoric surge since 2019 in China, where sales went from $62B to $300B last year. The entire global industry is expected to approach $500B this year but only a small fraction ($11B) comes from the United States. A new wave of companies are looking to capitalize on an expected increase in interest in the West. Buywith is a live shopping infrastructure platform that lets brands and retailers integrate live shopping experiences on their sites without any code integration or downloads. The platform replicates the experiential aspect of in-store shopping while creating engagement, attention, brand identity, and an unprecedented distribution opportunity with massive audiences. For consumers, they are able to participate in a social, fun, and convenient experience, while easily accessing all the information they need to make a purchasing decision. Buywith offers brands a self-service marketplace to choose talent to host their live shopping experiences. Early users of the platform include Walmart, Estee Lauder, and Steve Madden.
AlleyWatch caught up with buywith CEO and Cofounder Adi Ronen Almagor to learn more about the business, the company’s strategic plans, recent round of funding, and much, much more…
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Buywith has closed a $9.5Mseed round. The seed round is led by igniteXL Ventures, a fund with a special focus on technology-driven beauty and wellness investments. Other notable investors include Fab Co-Creation Studio Ventures, Regah Ventures, Irani CVC, True, and Alibaba.com’s former President of North America and Europe, John Caplan, and Alibaba.com GM of North America, Kevin Ambrosini.
Tell us about the product or service that buywith offers.
Retailers and brands use the buywith platform to host on-site Livestream shopping events featuring influencers, experts, and brand representatives. An unlimited number of viewers can shop live and interact with the hosts and brand.
What inspired the start of buywith?
I started with the idea of making e-commerce experience more social. We designed a Shopify enabled friends and family members to shop along on eCommerce sites. Upon being accepted to NYFTL, I pivoted the solution to host influencer-led Livestream shopping sessions on brands’ and retailers’ eCommerce sites, making it 1-to-many solution.
How is buywith different?
Unlike other Livestream shopping solutions, buywith does not require app downloads or code integration and creates a turnkey “Shop With Me” experience.
What market does buywith target and how big is it?
Livestream shopping is the next step in the evolution of eCommerce. It is a booming trend in China, responsible for 10% of all the eCommerce sales, and is projected to gross $423B by the end of 2022. In the US, the trend is projected to surpass $35 billion in the US by 2023. Buywith is one of the leading players in the US market, and has recently opened offices in the UK to serve the surging demand from the UK and European brands.
What’s your business model?
Buywith is a SaaS platform, charging a monthly subscription plus an affiliate commission on sales.
What are your post-COVID office plans??
Buywith is working remotely.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
The company will use the investment to meet surging customer demand and grow its sales, marketing, and R&D teams across the globe, focusing on North America.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Buywith is facing an increasing demand from brands and retailers, we see ourselves growing significantly and expanding globally in the near term. These days we are also launching a self-serve marketplace where brands can select the host for their Livestream shopping sessions directly from the buywith’s growing vetted content creators community. Along with the technological superiority, this is another unique selling point that enables brands to easily scale their Livestream shopping campaigns with influencer-led sessions.