Accel backs startup offering ‘Amazon-grade’ commerce engine to online sellers around the world • TechCrunch


Accel supports starting with its name Mason Based in India and the US which has built a business engine for sellers around the world to help them sell products online without paying the exorbitant “Amazon tax”.

The California-based startup, headquartered for research and development in Bengaluru, is allegedly allowing sellers to outfit their D2C storefront with a 50% increase in their margins from day one. It provides a no-code, plug-and-play solution to allow sellers to offer products online without the need for a large engineering team.

Founded by Barada Sahu and Kausambi Manjita in 2020, Mason claims to have more than 1,000 customers and over 8,000 brands worldwide. While North America has been one of the strongest markets for startups, it also serves clients in Singapore, Southeast Asia, Japan and India.

People are stuck being forced to sell on Amazon. Ideally, as a brand, you want your own presence, but you can’t do that because it’s too difficult. It seems like a technical issue, Mangeta said in an interview with TechCrunch.

Mason product dashboard

Sahu and Manjita decided to build their online store offering while working at Walmart-owned Myntra. While developing a custom engine for a fashion e-commerce company, the duo realized the need for custom store engines to successfully run online stores that sell multiple products. This brought Mason to his reality.

Manjita heads up Mason’s product and customer experience, while Sahu takes care of its revenue and growth.

The startup is aimed at small and medium businesses that already sell products online but are looking to upgrade their stores. Although Amazon can help in such cases, Sahu and Mangeta say the commission charged by the e-commerce giant restricts entrepreneurs’ earnings.

Manson charges 1% of its customers’ total sales to offer its platform. But, he said, it’s well below the 30% rate Amazon charges on every sale through its platform.

By switching to Mason, Manjita said the store improves average order value by 23% in 30 days, improves its session time by 17%, and sells by 35% in 60 days.

In addition to its leading commerce engine, Mason offers a Shopify add-on called ModeMagic. Sahu said it’s designed for brands that start and dive deep into the Shopify ecosystem.

By offering its own standalone platform and plugin Shopify, the startup basically wants to cater to both types of entrepreneurs and businesses – those who don’t rely on a particular platform and others who use Shopify as their background.

Mason raised a total of $7.5 million in an initial round led by Accel and Ideaspring Capital, with participation from Lightspeed India Partners as well as Mana VC, Gaingels, Core91 and VH Capital.

Subrata Mitra, partner at Accel, said in a prepared statement.

Manjita said Mason will use the new funding to build the marketing, sales, customer success and partnerships teams — to bring the product to more and more customers. The startup also plans to create more and better content for entrepreneurs to help them learn to solve challenges in their e-commerce journey.

Mason currently has about 40 people on its team, including approximately 30 who work in product technology and design operations. Much of its workforce is based in Bengaluru, although it has early-market go-to teams in Toronto and consultants in San Diego and New York. She also sets up customer success, early marketing, growth and partnerships teams in North America.

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