Austin e-commerce firm BigCommerce gets a $30 million boost

Posted May 10th, 2016

Fast-growing Bigcommerce has raised $30 million to make add more Austin workers and ramp up growth of its e-commerce software.

The lead investor in the deal was GGV Capital, a U.S. and China-based investment firm that has invested in companies including Airbnb, Alibaba, Pandora, Slack and Square.

Austin-based Bigcommerce has raised a total of $155 million from backers including General Catalyst, Revolution Growth, SoftBank Capital and American Express.

The company, founded in Australia in 2009 by Eddie Machaalani and Mitchel Harper, sells software that lets businesses build online stores, accept payments from a variety of methods and track sales and shipping.

It also provides tools for merchants to sell their products on smartphones and social networking sites. 

Bigcommerce, which initially targeted small retailers, began targeting major brands when CEO Brent Bellm joined the company two years ago.

"We have now evolved from strictly small businesses to some really big billion-dollar brands," said Robert Alvarez, Bigcommerce chief financial officer. "Over the past year we have added Toyota, Martha Stewart, Camelback and Travelpro."

The 400-person company opened its North American headquarters in Austin five years ago, drawn by the region's talent pool and cost of living.

Austin, where the company has 250 workers, is now the headquarters of all operations. Bigcommerce has offices Four Points in far Northwest Austin, and six months ago opened a downtown engineering office at 800 Brazos St.

In Austin, Bigcommerce is adding product engineers and sales people.

In addition to engineering operations in Sydney, the company has offices in San Francisco.

Alvarez said Bigcommerce decided to raise a large round of funding at the urging of the company's board.

"We recognized that the environment was going to be tough," he said. "Being able to raise this size of round in this climate was a vote of support from investors."

The funding will allow the company to grow to the next level, Alvarez said. "I believe this will get us to that point where we're an independent self-sustaining company."