It is fair to say that Facebook has become an integral part of life for many people. The service’s gigantic user base offers potentially tens of millions of customers, but persuading them to buy can be a tall order. Nobody really enjoys being bombarded with ads, so many users just stick to reading the news and interacting with friends. Services like Ecwid allow e-commerce firms to create “virtual storefronts” in Facebook, but it can nonetheless be a challenge in drawing in the customers. Chooos, a Kiev-based startup founded earlier this year, believes that they have the solution.
Founder Pavel Matvienko says that the company launched in public beta back in January. Initially, they were aiming to be like Fancy.com, but allowing users to create their own stores in Facebook (which Fancy now does). The team of 5 people continued to develop the product for 2 months before deciding to pivot a Pavel. During the beta period, in which Matvienko says that he personally contacted the initial clients that they attracted, he says that the realized that their service was helpful to established socal-media players selling their product for a markup, but not as much for startups without significant (or any) marketing budget. Therefore, they went back to the drawing board and are now aiming for a September re-launch.
Users can get an idea of how the service by visiting the Chooos homepage, but basically they allow customers to purchase items right on the store’s Facebook page. The revamped platform will enable businesses to create tags for products, reward fans of the business for “interactions” with the store, and offer a checkout right on the page.
The service is free to those creating a store on Facebook and Matvienko says that they intend to monetize it by charging for promotional campaigns. Going forward, they are planning to integrate with popular website-building services.
Matvienko says that they current have 241 customers from Russia and Ukraine, in addition to more than 1,400 businesses from the US, Europe, and Russia interested in the new version of the service. They are backed by $350K from Russian venture fund Imperious Group, which also backed other services that we have previously covered, including Advice Wallet, Settle, Coursmos, TOPES, and others. Imperious Group actively invests in CIS startups, but that is not their only connection to Chooos. In addition to his duties at Chooos, Matvienko serves as the CFO for Advice Wallet.