Using Facebook to drive revenues
While Facebook flounders around trying to figure out how to best monetize its unofficial 1 billion users, others are subscribing to the theory of tapping into what is becoming known as Facebook commerce. In this case, Facebook commerce refers to the web space where users buy physical or other good not connected to apps.
Once such company is the Berlin-based, Ondango.com. The company recently snagged a $500,000 investment led by the new VC Connect Ventures in London. According to Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch, Ondango plans on “using that funding to further build out its services and the number of businesses using its platform to drive their Facebook marketplaces, including a push from next year into the U.S.”
Ondango launched almost a year ago and gathered nearly $200k in first round funding. Other investors that appear interested and have become believers in the Ondango platform include Andy Goldstein, executive director of the Ludwig MU Entrepreneurship Center, Estag Capital, Tilman Buggenhagen, Mario Brockmann and Alexander Klug.
Facebook commerce maybe worth tapping
It’s been very frustrating for Facebook, and those trying to tap into the massive user base, to make a go of what is becoming known as Facebook commerce. A recent survey conducted by TNS for e-commerce enabler Ecwid revealed that currently only about 4% of UK consumers have bought something from Facebook. That works out to about £2 billion ($3.2 billion) of an estimated $50.3 billion spent on e-commerce in the UK.
The TNS’s consumer survey suggests that number could very easily grow 50% or upwards of £3 billion ($4.8 billion) in the UK over the next few years. Booz & Co. research estimates that worldwide the market for social commerce will be $9 billion this year and top $30 billion by 2015. It’s anticipated that Facebook could perhaps amass a rather large slice of that social commerce pie.
Ondango expects significant growth
Currently Ondango works with over 400 customers, says Jose Matias del Pino, one of its co-founders. One point of differentiation with Ondango is that its aim is an international one: about 60% of its customers are in Germany, and the rest are “everywhere else,” with the platform available in 14 different languages. This is noteworthy for a platform like Facebook, where a lot of its growth (and currently the majority of its customers) are actually outside of the U.S.
One company that has certainly ramped up its expansion plans and is certainly on Ondango’s radar is U.S.-based Payvment.com. Insiders at Payvment mentioned to the New York Times in July that it had more than 170,000 social commerce customers and is signing up 1,500 every week. In my opinion, any player in the Facebook commerce space is worth following. Ondango’s new found capital should help the company in drastically expanding its customer base.
Ondango offers innovative, user-friendly social commerce solutions for Facebook Pages. Ondango’s shopping system can be installed in just a few steps and allows fans to purchase their favorite products without ever leaving Facebook – from product browsing to check-out.
The Berlin-based startup was founded by José Matías del Pino (CEO), Claudio Bredfeldt (CTO) and Nicolas Dittberner (CMO). Already during its closed-beta phase, the company attracted customers from the music, fashion, merchandising and online commerce industries. The service is since October 2011 publicly available.