Interview with Eddie Machaalani (BigCommerce)
BigCommerce is an e-commerce platform that allows users to setup a professional online store without coding or design experience.
I interviewed Eddie Machaalani, BigCommerce co-founder to find out more. This interview is the ninety second in a series of DW interviews. Big thank you to Eddie!
How would you describe BigCommerce in under 50 words?
BigCommerce is an ecommerce platform for small business that allows anyone with no technical experience to set up a successful online store and drive a tremendous amount of traffic and revenue.
What made you decide to start working on BigCommerce?
We had been building software for small businesses to take advantage of the internet starting way back in 2003. We’d launched a content management system, email marketing platform and knowledge management tool when we saw an opportunity in the ecommerce space. There were a few products in the market already but no one did it really well. We did a soft launch of BigCommerce in 2009 and within a few months had 1,000 clients selling successfully. That’s when we knew we’d hit onto an opportunity.
How did you come up with the name?
It was a brain-storming session with our team – we wanted something that was easy to remember and build a brand around. I have a rule of thumb that I learned over the years when choosing a name – If people ask you “How do I spell that?” when telling them the name over the phone, then the name will be more difficult to brand.
What technologies have you used to build BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is built on the LAMP stack.
Congratulations on raising $15m in Series A funding last year. Where have you invested the money?
We’ve focused on building our team, hiring a strong executive team, ramping our sales and marketing teams and mostly focusing on building out our product and engineering team. Our goal is to provide as much value to our clients as possible and keep our costs affordable to small businesses all over the world. We do that by investing in our product and technology.
What were your reasons for turning down venture capital previously?
First and foremost, we’d been profitable and didn’t need the money. We could fund the launch of BigCommerce using our profits. Also, the timing wasn’t quite right – we had a proof of concept but wanted to prove we had a scalable business before taking on any investment.
Do you have any new features in the pipeline?
Yes, we’ll be launching some amazing features in the coming months – focusing on a new look and feel and continuing our trend of building marketing features that help drive traffic and repeat business for our clients. We’re also investing heavily into our API and integrations.
You’re on track to reach $15-20m in revenue this year. What have been the main factors that have led to your success?
The biggest factor is an unwavering attention to our clients and their success. We’re investing very heavily in our product and engineering teams to continue that drive of using technology to help make our clients successful.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
We have a great team that’s coming together very nicely. We’re ramping quickly, there’s so much opportunity on the horizon and we’re poised to help thousands of small business grow over the next few years.
Finished reading? Check out BigCommerce!