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Why We Invested In City Shoppe

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

💡 City Shoppe provides intelligent tools for small and medium size businesses (SMBs) to make it easier (and cheaper) for them to have a meaningful presence online. City Shoppe matches SMBs based on customer data for targeted marketing campaigns to multiply their customer base.

Investment Premise

Digital purchases will account for 95% of all purchases by 2040, but SMBs currently make up less than 1%. SMBs can’t compete with Amazon (who owns over 50% of the $56B in eCommerce acquisition), Walmart, or other giant platforms. Without tools geared toward the 31.7M SMBs in the US, they will continue to be priced out of the market and eventually become nonexistent. The data in support of this trend is quite alarming, with 61% receiving no ROI for social media, only 2% of brands owning the front search page. Further, the average digital presence costs $1k per month without results. This pay-to-play marketing and lack of results push SMBs to rely on in-store sales.

City Shoppe solves this by rolling all SMBs into a marketplace and then connecting the brands based on customer data. As a result, tangential brands will be cross targeted to customers on a global scale, decreasing CAC and increasing conversion.

“Through City Shoppe’s platform, small businesses now have the capability and resources to connect globally on a person-to-person level, while making small business shopping — once thought of as a localized market — global.” — Ash Cintas, CEO & Co-Founder of City Shoppe

Already, City Shoppe has early traction with over 300 SMBs and 34k SKUs on the platform. City Shoppe began as a marketplace for SMBs but quickly realized a deeper problem existed that prevented SMBs from finding new customers, especially at affordable rates.

Unlike platforms like Shopify, in which SMBs still have to manage low ROI social media acquisition channels that prioritize companies with multi-million dollar ad budgets first, City Shoppe is running highly targeted email campaigns to the combined pool of SMB customers across the globe. Unlike competitors, City Shoppe is not an after-check-out experience with meager conversion rates but leverages third-party data to create partnerships amongst SMB customers. In addition, they have an API with Shopify for inventory management, help with discovery search, and payment processing. City Shoppe is the headquarters for SMB e-commerce.

Redbud VC is an early-stage venture capital fund and studio investing monetary and social capital in early-stage tech founders.

Reach out to Brett Calhoun, Managing Director & GP at Redbud VC, at to learn about Redbud, and subscribe to our newsletter here.


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