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Bootstrapping Using Services from Russia: Ruslan Fazlyev, CEO of Ecwid (Part 6)

Posted on Saturday, Jan 28th 2017

Sramana Mitra: What did you price the Ecwid product at?

Ruslan Fazlyev: The model back then was one free plan and one paid plan at $70. The pricing model is a bit different now.

Sramana Mitra: $70 a month?

Ruslan Fazlyev: Yes, it’s different now. Now we have premium offerings. There are paid plans at $15, $35, and $99 a month. We also monetize it through Ecwid payments. If you have Ecwid stores, we also enable our customers now with bundled payments. Some share of our revenue is an outcome of sales there. Lastly, we also sell through sales channels.

Sramana Mitra: Do you pay 50% channel commission to the channel partners?

Ruslan Fazlyev: It varies by partner. There is no set percentage. More often than not, there is a certain price per account we agree on. The channel partner can resell at whatever price they want. For smaller partners that have web studios, we provide a private labeled version of Ecwid. They can subscribe to this for $300 a year. Essentially, they can have an e-commerce solution of their own.

The reason it works for these web studios is because they really lock in customers by using an e-commerce platform of their own versus building on someone else’s platform. Let’s say it’s a Magenta. Developers choose Magenta for building an online store. The customer can then choose any Magenta developer to maintain that. If a developer chooses a private labeled e-commerce solution, then a customer can only go to them.

Sramana Mitra: I see. How did Ecwid ramp up from 2010 to 2016? What has been the pace of growth?

Ruslan Fazlyev: We’re at a bit over a million merchants right now.

Sramana Mitra: Have you raised other money?

Ruslan Fazlyev: We raised a $5 million round a while ago. We’re profitable now. I don’t think we will be raising anytime soon.

Sramana Mitra: That was also from Runa?

Ruslan Fazlyev: Runa did participate, because they’re entitled to a prorate.

Sramana Mitra: What guidance can you provide about where you are revenue-wise?

Ruslan Fazlyev: As I mentioned, we don’t disclose revenues. There are different opinions of that online. There are websites like Owler where people can share their estimates on their revenue.

Sramana Mitra: Now you’re based in San Diego and you still have the Russian operation?

Ruslan Fazlyev: Yes, we have about a hundred people working for Ecwid in Russia.

Sramana Mitra: This is on top of the team that works for X-Cart?

Ruslan Fazlyev: X-Cart is a different company. I’m not actively involved in managing X-Cart. I’m a Board Member and the largest shareholder, but it’s an independent company.

Sramana Mitra: How many people do you have in San Diego?

Ruslan Fazlyev: We have about a dozen.

Sramana Mitra: So a dozen people in San Diego and a hundred people in Russia. That’s the size of the Ecwid team.

Ruslan Fazlyev: Yes. The people in San Diego are in managerial positions versus Russia is more on development.

Sramana Mitra: One million merchants and 112 merchants, what would you like to do? You started off by saying that the reason you wanted to spin out Ecwid is because you wanted to sell the company. Is this something that you’re starting to think about now that you have the company ramped up reasonably well?

Ruslan Fazlyev: I said I wanted to sell the company, but it doesn’t essentially mean that I would sell the company. It’s just an option.

Sramana Mitra: You have a great story. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Bootstrapping Using Services from Russia: Ruslan Fazlyev, CEO of Ecwid
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