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Bigcommerce adds payments, marketplace expertise with new CEO

June 8, 2015, 4:25 PM UTC
online shopping
online shopping
Photograph by John Lamb—Getty Images

E-commerce company Bigcommerce is announcing a major new hire this morning: a new CEO that hails from vacation home rental marketplace HomeAway and payments giant PayPal.

Brent Bellm was the president and chief operating officer of HomeAway from 2000 to 20015, and helped guided the company through its IPO. Previously, he spent more than seven years at PayPal, serving as CEO of PayPal Europe from 2005-2009, during which Bellm grew revenues from Europe 200%.

Bigcommerce is growing fast thanks to the increasing number of merchants who want to build and grow their online sales presence. The company provides software for merchants that lets them manage online and mobile storefronts, payments, and more social outreach.

In 2014, online sales totaled $304.91 billion, up 15.4% from 2013, according to estimates from the U.S. Commerce Department. Still, e-commerce still only accounts for 6.5% of total retail sales. There is plenty of room for Bigcommerce to grow within the larger market, and they already have a large slice of the pie. Bigcommerce said last year that its software has powered $5 billion in total sales for merchants.

The company is behind more than 95,000 online stores, including those of brands like Samsung, Gibson, Marvel, Cetaphil, Schwinn, Pergo, Enfamil and Ubisoft.

That success, and Bigcommerce’s current opportunity to further live up to its name, is why investors have poured $125 million into the company. Recent backers include SoftBank Capital, American Express, General Catalyst and Revolution Growth.

Bellm’s challenge will be to continue expanding Bigcommerce as it faces competition from larger players such as eBay’s Magento, IBM, NetSuite, and Shopify, which just went public in May.

Bellm acknowledges the competitive environment, but says many incumbents have an antiquated and costly model of distributed software, which merchants have to pay for and install upfront. Bigcommerce charges merchants on a subscription basis for software, giving them more flexibility.

“We have the potential to be a public company,” he adds. Given his track record, it seems like it’s only a matter of time.