Kahani wants to turn your e-commerce site into an interactive experience • TechCrunch

Jesse Pujji thinks the future of mobile e-commerce will be more like TikTok, Instagram and Snap, and started Kahania SaaS company for merchants, to lead the charge.

Before Kahani, the serial entrepreneur was a founder of several companies, including Gateway X, Ampush and GrowthAssistant. After serving as Executive Chairman at Ampush in 2015, Pujji sought out the following and began considering setting up a store.

While experimenting with Shopify, he found that people spent money, time and energy on TikTok and Instagram to create the right kind of content videos, but when the customer clicked on it, he “entered in this time machine that takes you 10-15 years in the past when you land on the website.

Most websites look alike, Pujji explained. Some do it well, including Tinder, which “revolutionized dating,” he said, simply by offering the ability to swipe left or right. He started thinking about applying similar features, especially those found on TikTok, Instagram and Snap, to mobile versions of websites to provide the same kind of shopping experience.

“The big vision is that in three to five years, we think you’ll land right on a big image or video and swipe or tap, and it’ll be immersive and interactive,” he added.

For example, Kahani’s first product is a “story-like” feature, which shows clothes being worn and the model turning around and showing how it fits “live” against static images of front and back views. back.

Merchants can start using the product with a two-line snippet and Kahani’s self-service content management system that allows merchants to edit photos and videos or configure the system to automatically insert the best sellers in a “story” on the website.

The company launched in October 2021, and Pujji launched an open beta in September. Although still in its infancy, the company has already onboarded 25 customers, including Tovala, SimpleModern, Hayden Girls, Hally Hair, and Audio Range. Many brands are already seeing their revenue per session increase by up to 30%, he said.

Additionally, Kahani is already seeing $100,000 in annual recurring revenue since launching the beta and has $200,000 in ARR sitting in its waitlist pipeline.

It also raised $3.5 million in seed funding co-led by Nextview Ventures and Sugar Capital, with participation from a group of angel investors. This is Pujji’s first foray into VC after launching his other companies, which he says was “because we saw the potential for Kahani’s size and growth.”

The funding will be invested in three areas: product engineering to automate more functions and accelerate the business towards more general availability in early 2023, then marketing and R&D to test new features; for example, discovery pages and the ability to purchase from photo or video through Kahani without having to redirect a customer to the merchant’s website.

Then the company’s goal is to access hundreds of websites to learn and get data and to build more automation into the product and create a complete checkout experience.

“Content should be dynamic,” Pujji said. “My happiest moment will be when someone lands on Kahani from Facebook or Amazon, browses it and buys without ever seeing the website. They do that all the way through our product.

Sherry J. Basler