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BigCommerce lands $30 million to help small businesses compete in Amazon's world

The Shopify competitor wants to move upmarket.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

BigCommerce has raised $30 million in new funding, as investors continue to bet on software companies that help small businesses compete while the popularity of online shopping continues to grow.

The Austin, Texas-based company has now raised $155 million over seven years, with the most recent investment being led by GGV Capital.

BigCommerce started out like its larger competitor Shopify by making software that allows small businesses to launch and manage online storefronts. But the company has tried to differentiate by adding more features to attract bigger merchants, and now has more than 1,000 customers who do between $1 million and $20 million in annual online sales, CEO Brent Bellm said in an interview.

The company plans to invest in new technologies to help woo this group of sellers, as well as in capabilities to help merchants sell both online and in physical storefronts. BigCommerce also wants to assist retailers and retail brands in selling across various mainstream shopping sites such as Amazon and eBay. It is becoming increasingly hard for small e-commerce outfits to thrive without selling wares on these giant marketplaces.

Bellm declined to disclose BigCommerce's current valuation, but admitted that the good ol' days of venture funding it experienced when it raised money in late 2014 are long gone.

"Last round, [software as a service] companies were getting [valued at] 10x forward revenue," Bellm said. "Now they're being valued at like 5x trailing revenue. Given all of that, you can imagine how that dynamic reflected on the valuations achieved in each round."

Bellm expects BigCommerce to hit monthly sales next year that would equate to $100 million in revenue on an annualized basis. And, like many startup CEOs right now, he said he expects his startup to become profitable on an Ebitda basis in 2017, as well.

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