Augmenting cloud platforms to increase control and security

Ecommerce continues to move at warp speed across nearly every category of the economy. New trends amongst online merchants are emerging, creating incredible investment opportunities, capable of impacting millions of businesses across the globe.

Over the last decade, investments in the ecommerce industry have largely focused on the development of centralized platforms designed to democratize access for any entrepreneur or business owner wanting to create an online presence. Ecommerce has essentially been a race to put inventory onto the web. The user experience for utilitarian products on large aggregators revolves around search, selection, and cost, culminating in a low-friction purchasing flow. The culmination of those investments have manifested with marquee examples such as Shopify surpassing 800,000 online merchants and experiencing a 190% increase in stock price making it Canada’s most valuable company at $140B, and BigCommerce completing an IPO, valuing it at $4B.

The next investment opportunities in the category will not be in centralized platforms, they will be in decentralized infrastructure that connect to the millions of merchants on existing platforms. While centralized platforms are built with ‘scale’ as a primary goal, new decentralized infrastructure (or ‘apps’ built on top of platforms) will be built with the goal of giving merchants more control over their ability to customize, personalize, and keepsafe their online stores.

Inovia has already made several investments in ambitious entrepreneurs offering solutions, to ecommerce merchants, that are simply more impactful when offered by a third party rather than by the platform itself:

  • Clearbancoffering capital to merchants is a powerful tool that helps businesses grow and invest in repeatability. Clearbanc’s ability to underwrite merchants across multiple platforms, ingest data at the transaction level rather than the business level, and truly partner with merchants irrespective of where their storefront is hosted, are all powerful value propositions that come with being one step removed from the ecommerce platform.
  • Nacellewe announced our investment in headless ecommerce solution Nacelle last week. Headless commerce is a new type of website architecture built using Jamstack: JavaScript, APIs, and Markup. Headless separates the frontend and backend, allowing frontend elements (storefront design and presentation) to run independently from backend functionality (shipping and fulfilment, analytics, customer data, and taxes). This trend highlights merchants’ desire to build on top of monolithic architecture to support functionality and flexibility, as well as speed for end users. Shopify highlighted that headless eCommerce is one of the 11 ecommerce trends to watch in 2021.

Today we are announcing our investment in Rewind. We are leading the Series A and our Partner, Magaly Charbonneau, will be joining the Board of Directors.

Rewind’s mission clearly highlights the aforementioned trends of merchants’ desire for increased control and customizability. Rewind is a backup solution for cloud data. It allows online businesses anywhere to securely backup their online data and retrieve it, in its most granular form, at any time. Ecommerce platforms back up their own cloud infrastructure but don’t make account-level, business-critical information (such as sales, marketing and financial data) available to their users. Rewind gives businesses of all sizes, immediate access to usable and comprehensive backups so they can quickly recover from a tiny data-entry error incident to a massive data disaster.

Already protecting data in leading cloud apps, BigCommerce, QuickBooks Online, Shopify, and Shopify Plus, Rewind currently backs up over 33 billion data points globally. The company will use the new funding to fulfill its mission of protecting businesses by protecting their cloud data. This raise will accelerate its product development pipeline, bringing new data protection solutions to market faster than any current BaaS provider

Having decoupled backups from the underlying application, Rewind can sit across all of the merchants’ online SaaS providers and allow them to manage their data in all places across the web. The product includes features such as:

  • Restore: allows a user to restore their data to a prior point in time. Not only does it protect all the data from system failure, it also safeguards the store-specific information against employees making mistakes or errors while inputting information.
  • Version history: business owners are interested in how their stores have evolved over time and version history allows you to see these changes, providing unique insights that help run your business.
  • Copy: allows users to copy their data to another store, perhaps for multi-currency, or multi-language capabilities.

Platforms like Shopify pride themselves on their commitment to working closely with innovative technologies that can enhance their core offering in the form of an app store marketplace. This underpins the underlying mission of such platforms to act as a distribution channel, to businesses all across the globe, with access to the absolute best tools to run their businesses. Rewind is a proud Shopify Plus Certified App Partner and serves thousands of merchants across its platform partners.

Though starting in the ecommerce space, Rewind’s broader ambitions are to serve various use cases across popular SaaS applications. Rewind already backs up accounting data on Quickbooks Online and is excited about the opportunity to backup cloud data in project management, developer, and productivity apps.

We could not be happier to begin this journey with the team at Rewind as they work towards their mission to backup hundreds of applications across the internet and allow business owners to take control of their data and sleep better at night.