The co-founders Sebastian Rindom, Oliver Juhl and Nicklas Gellner founded the company a year ago, but have been working on the software with a first customer for four years. When they helped this client scale their business through the Shopify and WooCommerce marketplaces, they found they had to do more coding workarounds and hacks than they thought.
“You’re limited in how you build software for customers to see the scale,” Rindom told TechCrunch. “The client was optimistic about e-commerce and wanted to double their sales in a year, so we worked to figure out what platform they could migrate to to achieve that, and Medusa was the result.”
The company’s technology essentially consists of APIs that provide a “headless” offering – meaning the shop front technology is separated from the back technology, allowing customization and maintenance to be done in one area without affecting the other to disrupt – for merchants who want more control over their ecommerce tech stack.
Rather than hacking through, users can fall back to standard implementations that, according to Rindom, correspond to Shopify features, including APIs that connect to various tools, including payment providers, logistics tools, and customer management systems. Then, as users outgrow these, they can hook up to a third-party tool or create one themselves.
Rindom explained that current marketplaces provide certain basic APIs for integration, but if you want to experiment with fulfillment, subscriptions, or a wholesale channel, you need access outside of this standard API. Instead, Medusa offers a more modular architecture that allows users to do anything.
It’s clear that even Shopify sees the need for more features for its users to get up and running quickly. The future of the digital commerce software market will be determined by the growth of the e-commerce market itself, which will be a trillion dollar market within the decade.
We’ve also seen an increase in venture capital investment in the space, with companies like Fabric, Shopware, CommerceIQ, and Swell receiving funding for headless commerce approaches and infrastructure over the past six months. Other startups, like Shop Circle, are also developing software for Shopify merchants to do more in the marketplace.
Medusa itself is part of that group, which has raised $8 million in seed funding in a round co-led by LocalGlobe and Dawn Capital, which involved a group of individual investors including Squarespace founder and CEO Anthony Casalena, Algolia- Founder Nicolas Dessaigne and former GitLab executive Scott Williamson. Combined with a pre-seed round from Seedcamp last year, the company has raised nearly $9 million in total funding.
Much of the technology in this space, including Shopify, is over a decade old, making Medusa an attractive investment, Mina Mutafchieva, a partner at Dawn, said in a written statement.
“As a result, pain points for e-commerce retailers are exploding and most, if not all, of those we’ve spoken to at Dawn over the past two years are using inefficient ‘workarounds’ to achieve their business goals,” Mutafchieva added. “The Medusa product is a dream for developers and merchants who need to customize their platforms while maintaining maximum performance and response times by balancing the right level of user-friendly API-first approach with a high level of customizability.”
Already active in e-commerce stores, Medusa sells more than $100 million a year and in less than a year has built a community of more than 2,000 developers who have launched about 10,000 projects on the platform.
Rindom didn’t share sales numbers, partly because there’s no monetization game at the moment. Something is in the pipeline, he said, but the company is more focused on validating its technology and driving adoption at the moment.
In this focus, funding is ultimately deployed, which includes building products and small APIs, building content around those APIs, and defining materials on how to use them. Medusa intends to hire additional developers and engineers and invest more in community efforts and partnership building.
Future plans include building a cloud tool for the product, allowing users to connect their GitHub repository to the Medusa infrastructure to control their tools. That’s something the company will charge for, but “is still a bit ahead for the future,” Rindom said.