E-commerce platform Shopstar secures funding from Launch Africa Ventures

SOUTH AFRICA – Shopstar, the South African e-commerce platform, has announced that it has secured third-round funding from Launch Africa Ventures, signalling the next phase in its strategy to scale. The exact amount was not disclosed.

Shopstar enables local entrepreneurs to build online stores. Launch Africa Ventures is known for its early investment into and backing of over 60 high-potential African technology start-ups.

Other than the Launch Africa Ventures funding, Shopstar also recently secured further partnerships and endorsements from global brands and a grant from AWS Activate.

“Our aim is now to scale quickly and we are looking to double revenue this year,” says managing partner of Launch Africa Ventures, Zachariah George.

The cloud-based e-commerce platform assists local entrepreneurs in creating an online store and growing their business by providing easy-to-use, professional services that enable them to trade economically.

“As part of the initial short term plans, Edington is implementing ways to develop the platform so that it not just reflects the future of e-commerce, but also provides the tools of the future to help small businesses start, operate and grow,” Shopstar said in a statement.

Shopstar was founded in 2014. After assessing the business potential in late 2018, a seasoned entrepreneur and investor, Mike Joubert, started a second round of investment and became its majority shareholder, beginning its turnaround strategy and starting scaling it for growth.

“What sets Shopstar apart from other e-commerce offerings is that its entire purpose is focused on helping South African entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses, and make sales,” Joubert said.

“This sets it apart from the bigger international platforms – we have a passionate belief in making South Africa a better place by growing the South African entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

As part of its growth plan, local entrepreneur Chris Edington has been brought on board as CEO to lead the business and take it forward.

“What really got me excited about Shopstar is its simplicity and relevance to South African entrepreneurs. It is simple, easy and user-friendly. You can get an online shop started in five easy steps, in under 10 minutes and with no coding knowledge or design experience required,” Edington said.

“It means it’s incredibly democratic – now, any entrepreneur, whatever stage of their journey they are on, is able to open their business up to endless possibilities and audiences. And we offer unique professional services to also help them make sales.”

Edington will be implementing ways to develop the Shopstar platform so that it also provides the necessary tools to help small businesses start, operate and grow.

With a background in founding and leading start-ups, his experience as an entrepreneur and tech expert allows him to bring specific insights and knowledge to the business, along with a deep understanding of Shopstar’s customers – creative entrepreneurs who are starting and building their own enterprises.

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