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Kiwi Ecommerce Start-up Storbie Raises $1.5M Fast-tracking Aussie Market Success

If you visit your local kiwi pharmacy online, there’s a 1 in 4 chance their website is powered by Wellington ecommerce success story Storbie and it won’t be long before the iconic blue shopping cart will becomes an industry standard in Australian pharmacy too.

Little more than 10 months on from launching across the ditch, and with $1.5M of secured funding spurring their expansion, Storbie has cemented itself as fundamental when it comes to enabling community pharmacies to put their best foot forward online. More than 100 community pharmacies in Australia now choose Storbie, and they have the backing of the industry, having struck ecommerce platform integration deals with some of the largest community pharmacy software providers - most of which are the first of their kind.

It’s no surprise that the ecommerce sector is hot property for investors right now. After the initial surge of businesses moving to establish an online channel during lockdown, Storbie is currently witnessing a second wave of demand for ecommerce websites. New data shows that in August there was a 382% increase in new online store setups compared with the same month last year.

“It’s becoming increasingly obvious that local businesses are looking at ecommerce in a new light post-lockdown” says Shane Bartle, CEO of Wellington based ecommerce platform Storbie. He says that they have seen an increase of more than 113% in new ecommerce website builds this year compared with 2019.

This ‘second wave’ indicates that the pandemic has fundamentally changed the way that people are shopping both here and in Australia and for a retailer coming out of response mode, their path to recovery includes a renewed focus on digital channels – especially for the ones who have previously relied on foot-traffic to keep the lights on.

Justin Lester, former Wellington Mayor and Chairman of Storbie’s Board of Directors adds “local retailers don’t want to sit back and leave their survival to chance, they can see that people are doing their shopping online more than they used to, so they are taking the initiative and planning for all possibilities.”

These trends only affirm the relevance of the challenges that Storbie has set out to solve in the industries they’re focused on.

Bartle says that the recent funding enables Storbie to invest in new ways to support local businesses. “Right from day one, Storbie has been built around this idea of supporting independent retailers. I see this investment as a mandate to continue expanding on our mission to give power back to the little guy.”

Storbie recently posted a result of 112% YoY growth and with other sectors taking notice of the way Storbie is accelerating the transformation of established industries, Storbie is one to watch.

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