Toronto-based startup Plobal Apps has raised $10.9 million CAD ($8.5 million USD) in what it classifies as an all-equity pre-Series A round. The financing, which closed in May, was co-led by Elevation Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Better Capital.
Elevation and Bessemer also co-led Plobal’s $5.5 million seed round last year. With the two rounds, Plobal’s total funding to date is $14 million.
Founded in 2016 by Atul Poharkar, Plobal provides director-to-consumer brands with a platform that can build and deploy their mobile apps, increase mobile app installations, and engage with customers. Prior to working on Plobal, Poharkar also co-founded iCrave.in, an online tourism guide for cities in India.
Plobal is one of the 80 Shopify Plus Certified App Partners.
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Claiming to be one of the largest app building platforms in the Shopify ecosystem, Plobal said it has a reach of almost 2.5 million Shopify merchants. Its client base includes brands such as Steve Madden, Forever 21, Goose Creek, Matt & Nat, Koovs, and Rare Rabbit.
“Brands have now started realizing the importance of an owned marketing channel,” said Poharkar. “With rising acquisition costs and more focus on retention, brands are doubling down on owned platforms like email, SMS and mobile apps to reach their customers and truly own their audience.”
Working with mid-market and enterprise Shopify merchants, Plobal claims that it processes millions in app gross merchandise value (GMV) every month.
Armed with new capital, Plobal aims to build a larger presence in North America, as well as accelerate its tech innovation and product launch efforts. Plobal currently has teams in Canada and the United States, with a large part of its headcount based in Toronto.
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Bessemer partner Anant Puri said that the VC firm decided to invest in Plobal because a part of the firm’s thesis relates to the future of e-commerce being app-based. He added that Plobal’s ability to drive customer adoption, engagement, and revenue through apps was also a key reason Bessemer was attracted to the startup.
Plobal is among a number of tech providers that aim to make it easier for Shopify merchants to deploy mobile apps. Other companies that operate in this space include American companies Shopgate, Tapcart, and Vajro.
Featured image from Roberto Cortese via Unsplash.