Mike Angell and Holly Cardew

Investment Notes: Carted

Date Published:
May 4, 2021

Blackbird is leading the USD $10M seed round into Carted, a universal commerce API founded by Holly Cardew and Mike Angell.

Today, we’re excited to share that Blackbird is leading the USD $10M seed round into Carted, a universal commerce API.

Carted will power commerce experiences anywhere on the internet, allowing developers and content creators to build a direct checkout of any product from any merchant via any content on the web. We call this “universal commerce”.

Universal Commerce

The rise of online content platforms and user generated content has fundamentally changed the way that we develop our identity and interact with our communities. Identity and community are both now inseparable from our online interactions and the products that we purchase.

Despite the clear connection between online interactions and purchase behaviour, there is no ubiquitous mechanism for purchasing products from those online interactions without suffering through a convoluted maze of redirected links or incomplete product catalogues. For merchants, this friction adversely affects conversion, and they currently bear the burden for supporting direct integrations with online content platforms and marketplaces.

Carted overcomes the complexity for both customers and merchants by offering zero touch integrations for all merchants and products, eliminating the friction to support direct checkout from online interactions. Content platforms and marketplaces will be able to onboard a complete catalogue of products immediately with accurate and reliable data.

Through universal commerce, content platforms can allow creators to sell and attract revenue from any product on the web. Consumers would be able to make purchase decisions closer to the context and influence provided by content; in turn improving the volume and quality of content that is posted on content platforms and improving the conversion rate to purchase for products that are promoted in that content). Content creators would have an additional incentive to publish, and greater financial resources to professionalise, their work.

The vision for Carted is to turn all content creators into merchants, all content platforms into marketplaces and all content consumption into a potential revenue-bearing ecommerce transaction.

Carted founders Holly Cardew and Mike Angell with Blackbird Principal Michael Tolo.

A Team In The Weeds With Customers

Carted founders Holly Cardew (CEO) and Mike Angell (CTO) deeply understand the problem space and their customers, because they are their customers. They have separately been searching for the right scalable ecommerce business to build for at least the last decade. This is the one. Holly has provided services to more than 25,000 merchants, processed more than one million photos, and deployed four apps in the Shopify App Store with Pixc over the last decade.

Mike has built and scaled successful ecommerce functions at BlackMilk Clothing and Culture Kings, and sold a Shopify app (the most successful ecommerce infrastructure business on the planet).

Moving At Breakneck Speed

Carted is the product of consistent iteration between Holly and Mike. Identifying an opportunity to enable users to make their TikTok videos shoppable, Holly and Mike founded social commerce tool Vop one year ago. Carted was initially built as the infrastructure to support Vop. After they discovered a bigger need to tackle the fragmented nature of ecommerce, Holly and Mike pivoted to build Carted six months ago.

The ability to sell any product from any merchant on any content platform through direct checkout fundamentally changes the way we activate commerce through online content and communities, enabling the first generation of digital-native experiential commerce. This is not about incrementally improving ecommerce, it is about building the infrastructure to embed commerce within the online experiences that mean the most to us.

Holly and Mike have big ambitions and we are excited for the journey ahead. If you want to join them, Carted is hiring for a number of roles right now. Apply here.