By Murat Bicer and Caitlin Bolnick
Ever since Shopify began flipping the online retail space on its head in 2006, the CRV team has closely followed the Canadian company’s moves. As Shopify’s platform grows bigger and bigger it’s enabling more and more small business owners to come online and for many of them to simultaneously hold their own against Amazon. Given the platform’s widespread growth, we’ve made numerous investments in the Shopify ecosystem. Earlier this year we invested in Emotive (Help is Just a Text Away: CRV’s Investment in Emotive) which enables young companies like baby footwear brand Piper Finn to directly and quickly interact with its customers on a more personal level on mobile. Late last year CRV made a Seed investment in OmniPanel which arms customer support teams at budding businesses’ with the tools and insights they need to drive quantifiable and actionable business results across a number of platforms including Shopify. We are also an early investor in Gorgias, one of the most popular help desk and customer support platforms on Shopify. We began our partnership with Gorgias in 2016, when we led the company’s Seed round, and continued supporting them in subsequent rounds.
Today we’re excited to announce our fourth bet on the Shopify ecosystem. Loop is our newest investment in the Shopify space and we’re thrilled to take the lead on the company’s $65 million Series B round. Loop is the exchange-first returns platform for scaling Shopify brands.
“Shopify merchants need to build a tech stack that supports them across everything from mobile CRM to help desk, customer insights and shipping,” says Murat Bicer, general partner at CRV. “Each layer of the stack will have a best of breed player that rises to the top. At CRV we’re investing in the winners in each category and Loop is the leader redefining the returns experience.”
CRV is not alone in thinking Loop, which turns returns into an upsell opportunity for brands and a fun exchange experience for devoted customers, is a terrific investment. Retailers love that Loop transforms returns into a customer experience touchpoint and oftentimes even an opportunity for customer loyalty. Shopify is also participating in Loop’s Series B showing that the e-commerce giant is also a fan of the way Loop seamlessly integrates into companies’ product catalogs.
“Buying online is easy,” says Caitlin Bolnick, venture investor at CRV. “But making a return is often fraught with issues for both the customer and the retailer. As more consumers purchase online, returns have become central to the customer experience. Loop gives returns a fresh look creating a delightful experience for retailers and customers alike.”
More than 700 brands including Allbirds, Chubbies and Figs rely on Loop to make it easy for their customers to engage with new products they’ll love.
“The functionality that Loop provides allows us to encourage customers to take a customer retaining exchange. We’ve seen our refunds go from 60 percent of all of our returns down to 40% with Loop.” explains John Maddalone, Customer Retention Supervisor of online apparel brand Baseballism.
“One of the most impressive aspects of Loop is just how quickly they have grown organically through inbound interest and word of mouth,” says Bicer. “This new infusion of capital will help Loop grow even faster and more aggressively. Here at CRV we’re excited about that because the market opportunity is vast.”
Loop is beautifully designed, intuitive and easy to use, but those are just a few of the things that caught the CRV investment team’s eye.
“Loop today is focused on providing the best possible experience for Shopify retailers,” says Bolnick. “It seamlessly integrates with a retailer’s e-commerce stack and unifies the multitude of components from accounting to logistics that go into making an exceptional returns experience. Retailers love the simplicity and ease of use of Loop’s product which was another reason we knew we had to back the Loop team.”
“The team at Loop is another reason why we invested,” says Bicer. “Jonathan Poma (the founder and CEO of Loop) has a deep background in the space having successfully sold his last startup, Rocket Code, to BVAccel (a digital agency that works with the Shopify Plus platform) and he has a great strategic vision. The remote first company is aggressively hiring and expanding its team and we can’t wait to see where this company goes next.”
The CRV team is always keen to hear about passionate entrepreneurs who are building out the Shopify platform and early stage founders who are making things happen in the enterprise and consumer tech space. If you’re one of them, get to know more about the CRV team and the kinds of companies we invest in here.