Top Facebook commerce firm Payvment is no more, after the company confirmed that it will close down its Facebook sales app, which provides a ‘shop front’ to 200,000 merchants, and Lish deals site. However, confusion remains over what is happening to the remainder of the company and its staff.
Payvment has confirmed that it has agreed to a deal with Ecwid that will see its users transferred over to the Russian e-commerce company’s own Facebook merchant app. Payvment and its work force are not transferring to Ecwid but, as stated on its website, the team is “joining a new company”, the identify of which is not known at this point.
Ecwid’s PR team has confirmed the deal and restated that the company is not buying more than Payvment’s customers, however no further details are available as yet.
A non-description canned comment from Jim Stoneham, CEO of Payvment, that accompanies the press release makes no mention of the reasons behind the deal:
Payvment’s sellers are pioneers in social selling, creating loyal relationships with Facebook customers by using the latest social media technology and techniques. Ecwid’s e-commerce technology will not only enable our merchants to keep selling on Facebook, but also allow them the opportunity open up new channels by placing a store anywhere their customers shop online.
It appears that Payvment has struggled to make the nascent Facebook-based commerce business work, and is therefore exiting the market with an acquihire and the sale of another top asset, its customers. Its deal site Lish launched last year to expand its business from a single-focus on Facebook to more regular Web commerce too.
Runa Capital-backed Ecwid is in a better position to ride the early days of Facebook commerce potential since it has a more diverse focus beyond the social network. While F-Commerce may not yet be a big money-spinner, despite its potential to reach more than a billion people worldwide, firms that make money elsewhere online can afford to explore its potential, even if it is not yet making them significant revenues.
For those with a singular focus on Facebook, today’s news does not bode well, since Payvment was a market leader and it appears to have fallen.
We’ve reached out to Payvment for more details.
What we do know is that the deal will see Ecwid massively boost its Facebook with the addition of Payvment’s customers. The firm raised a $1.5 million round to expand overseas in 2011, and Payvment merchant accounts are all set to be transferred before its service closes its doors at the end of February.
Payvment claimed to be the top social commerce app on Facebook (UPDATE: Ecwid tells us that it actually caught up and became number one as measured by monthly active users in December 2012) and the company has raised $7.75 million, with 500 Startups, Sierra Blue Ventures and, BlueRun Ventures among its investors. Ecwid is headquartered in Russia but has an office in the California, US. It began with PHP shopping carts and was a finalist in The Next Web Paypal X Startup Rally in 2010.
The account transfer is not quite automatic, and merchants are required to visit their Payvment dashboard in order to enable the changeover. Customers are able to export their details from the service — which includes order details, customer contact information and m0re — using a dedicated CSV exporter.
Payvment explains that, while the platform will not close until the end of February, merchant accounts on Facebook and Lish will cease being fully operational on February 14th. Stores will still be available for two weeks after that date, but the buy button for consumers will no longer be active.
Image via Lisa F. Young / Shutterstock