Soldsie, a service for making purchases within Facebook comments, has raised $1 million from FundersClub 500 Startups, and e.ventures, the company announced today.
The purchasing method mimics the natural interactions that people have with their friends on Facebook. “It’s fun, it’s conversational, and it’s visible,” said Soldsie CEO Chris Bennett in a phone interview.
Merchants, brands, and small business owners can use Soldsie to post their items for sale on Facebook. When shoppers type “sold” into the comments, the item goes straight to their shopping carts. The shoppers will then get an email prompting them to complete the purchase through Paypal or credit card when they’re ready.
Both buyers and sellers have to register for the service in order for it to work, so no erroneous sales will be made by people who are merely sold on an idea rather than an actual product.
So far, Soldsie has signed up about 100,000 consumers (out of more than 1 billion monthly active Facebook users) and 1,500 merchants, so there is still room for growth.
The company reports that its merchants, who include Jenny Boston Boutique and the San Jose Earthquakes, process more than $1 million in transactions per month. The sellers can process and track their sales on Soldsie using a back-end interface.
When asked if Soldsie will compete with other forms of F-commerce, Bennett said he sees the tool “working in conjunction with Sponsored Stories rather than competing with them. This is really competing with links” posted to Facebook that redirect the consumer to an e-commerce site.
Soldie joins Chirpify and American Express in making social commerce more conversational. Both of the latter companies are similarly using Twitter for in-stream commerce. Chirpify has also monetized Instagram.
Soldsie was founded in May 2012 by Bennett and Arrel Gray. The San Francisco-based company plans to use its latest funding round for marketing and engineering, Bennett said. Other participants in the funding round included former Facebook employees Yun-Fang Juan and Jonathan Ehrlich, Peanut Labs founder Prosper Nwankpa, and angel investors Elliot Loh and Tom Kelly.