Toronto-based Bonsai, an embedded commerce solution, has secured C$21 million in Series A financing. The round was led by Framework Venture Partners, with participation from Lyra Growth Partners and other investors. Bonsai’s online checkout technology allows publishers and merchants to sell to consumers at the point of discovery.
TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bonsai, North America’s leading embedded commerce solution, has raised a $21 million CAD Series A led by Toronto-based Framework Venture Partners. Bonsai’s vision is to enable checkout across the internet by allowing publishers and merchants to sell to consumers at the point of discovery, enabling a frictionless buying experience for online shoppers. The solution allows publishers to convert affiliate links into an on-site cart and checkout flow, rewarding their creation of buyer intent by retaining higher margins compared to incumbent affiliate networks, owning the buyer experience throughout, and capturing valuable first-party data. For merchants, Bonsai provides an alternative, performance-based customer acquisition channel to Facebook and Google.
The financing comes following a year of explosive growth for Bonsai. After first launching in January 2021, Bonsai’s embedded commerce solution has already been adopted by media conglomerates such as BuzzFeed and Vox Media Group, and highly influential digital publishers like Well+Good, Refinery29 and PureWow. Bonsai has integrations to over 350+ retailers and brands, a 4x growth rate from the year prior, including household enterprise partners and DTC brands. In October 2021, Afterpay partnered with Bonsai to bring “Buy Now, Pay Later” to online publishers and make Bonsai available to its extensive merchant network. With over 4 million integrated products at competitive commissions and thousands of customer orders fulfilled, Bonsai has one of the industry’s most competitive catalog offerings.
Bonsai’s embedded commerce solution provides a frictionless experience for consumers. In a few clicks, and without opening multiple tabs or leaving the original page, a reader can explore a detailed product description page, add items from multiple merchants to a single floating cart, and checkout.
“Bonsai has the strongest merchant integrations and the most number of publisher implementations we’ve seen in the market. This, combined with a deep understanding of publisher affiliate businesses, makes Bonsai a unique and compelling player in the checkout provider landscape,” said Andrew Lugsdin, co-founder of Framework Venture Partners. “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 GMV opportunity. Unlike others in the space that provide a narrow, out-of-the-box checkout, Bonsai’s role as checkout “plumbing” is already accelerating the company’s ability to land and expand massive GMV opportunities.”
Proceeds from the financing will be used to build existing product capabilities and explore new product verticals. In addition, Bonsai plans to expand its retail partner supply into new categories, which are currently centered around fashion and beauty. The company also plans to once again double the size of its team over the next year and a half.
“We know that customers discover what products to buy outside of publisher content,” explains Saad Siddiqui, “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.”
Founded in 2016, Bonsai is an embedded commerce platform trusted by elite publishers and retailers across North America. Bonsai’s technology allows users to purchase a product at the point of discovery – directly within the content they’re consuming. For publishers, Bonsai provides a better revenue alternative to intrusive ads and the chance to own the customer from inspiration to gratification. For 350+ merchants, ranging from direct-to-consumer brands to enterprise partners, Bonsai puts their natively shoppable products in front of an audience at the moment purchasing intent is being formed, achieving more sales with less friction. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Bonsai was recently named to LinkedIn’s 2021 Top Canadian Startups List and Canadian Business’ New Innovators List. The company also more than doubled in size from 40 to 90 and is continuing to rapidly expand its team. To learn more, visit https://getbonsai.com/.