Bonsai, the Toronto-based ecommerce platform used by BuzzFeed, Vox Media, Refinery 29 and others, announced today it has raised $21 million in Series A financing led by Framework Venture Partners, also based in Toronto.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to improve existing product capabilities and explore new verticals. In addition, Bonsai plans to expand its retail-partner supply into new categories, which are currently centered around fashion and beauty.
The financing comes following a year of growth for six-year-old Bonsai, whose embedded commerce solution launched in January 2021 In all, Bonsai has integrations with over 350 retailers and brands, including household enterprise partners and D2C brands.
Bonsai’s platform allows shoppers to have a frictionless buying experience at the point of product discovery, converting customer affiliate links into a cart and checkout. This means publishers and merchants own the buyer process, retain higher margins, and capture valuable first-party data, says the company.
In October, the Australian app Afterpay partnered with Bonsai to bring a “Buy Now, Pay Later” solution to online publishers and make Bonsai available to its extensive merchant network.
“Bonsai has the strongest merchant integrations and the most number of publisher implementations we’ve seen in the market,” Framework Venture Partners co-founder Andrew Lugsdin said. “The company has proven that embedded commerce for publishers works and that Bonsai is well on its way to capture the lion’s share of a $15 billion gross merchandise value opportunity.”
Bonsai CEO Saad Siddiqui said one premise is that customers discover products to buy outside of publisher content “And Bonsai is now well-equipped to explore what those additional embedded commerce applications may look like, while continuing to power seamless checkout for our publishers and provide merchants even more places to sell their products,” he said.