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Bulgarian CloudCart closes a strategic investment from Elevator Ventures and NV3 to expand in CEE

Nikolay Iliev and Peter Iliev, founders of CloudCart
Image credit: Nikolay Iliev and Peter Iliev, founders of CloudCart
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CloudCart, the Bulgarian e-commerce platform that helps merchants digitize their businesses and start selling online, closed a round led by Elevator Ventures, the venture capital arm of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) with the participation of existing investor New Vision 3 (NV3). 

The news follows the growth that the company has reported for 2021 – more than 9K registered online stores and over 3.5M orders conducted on the platform. 

The minority investment is of an undisclosed amount.  But it has strategic importance for the growth of the company. It will open the doors for a market entry in all 16 CEE markets where RBI is operational and has an established brand footprint. The investment fits the strategy of Elevator Ventures to support the digitalization of businesses in CEE and marks the first investment of the corporate venture fund in a Bulgarian company. 

“What makes CloudCart an attractive investment for us is their understanding of the unique needs and pains of SME retailers. We are excited by the momentum of e-commerce growth in Central and Eastern Europe and believe that Nikolay Iliev, CEO of CloudCart, and his team are in a great market position to take advantage of it,” Maximilian Schausberger, Managing Director of Elevator Ventures, comments in the official press release. 

“The existing technology integrations and partnerships of CloudCart, combined with new collaborations with strategic market players such as Elevator Ventures, give us the real opportunity to take European e-commerce to the next level. We have always been prepared to help businesses meet their e-commerce needs and the changes that are happening in this sector on a daily basis, bringing even more opportunities for cross-border growth for all industry stakeholders,”  Nikolay Iliev, CloudCart’s co-founder and CEO, shared. 

Scalable solution for digitalization

One of the propositions of CloudCart is that their platform does not require any technical or design knowledge which means that it enables any merchant to jump on the e-commerce wagon. The platform also has a startup plan for all starting businesses which allows them to use the Open SaaS e-commerce platform and its marketing tools for free until they reach their first 1,000 monetary units in revenue. 

Read more:  Bootstrapped E-Commerce Software Trackerbot Gets Acquired by Quadra Group to Grab the Shopify Market

The vision of CloudCart is to develop a flexible e-commerce infrastructure and that is why the company combines two models – open source and SaaS. This allows merchants to go beyond the limitations of ready-made software solutions and collaborate with third-party service providers. 

In addition to their main SaaS e-commerce offering, the company has developed a suite of additional services to create a whole ecosystem of e-commerce solutions – anything from SEO and content creation to influencer marketing, and web design.

CloudCart’s startup journey

Founded in 2016 by the two brothers Nikolay Iliev and Peter Iliev who had a background in e-commerce, business development, and software development, CloudCart started with the goal to become the easiest to use software for online stores in Europe. Initially, the two brothers bootstrapped the project with €1.5M personal investment, which quickly paid off as in 2018 they had already attracted their first 1500 paying customers. 

Up until now, CloudCart has raised €640K from NV3 and private investors in June 2020. With the raised funds the company expanded into Romania, Greece, and North Macedonia.  

The company has sealed strategic partnerships with big market players such as Google Cloud, Yettel, Mailchimp, Zapier, DHL, and OLX, as well as with UniCredit and KBC Group.

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Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive, an online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. She is keen on sharing the innovation stories that shape the regional ecosystem and has a great interest in fintech, IoT, and biotech startups. Elena is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria.