🦄 Unicorner Startup of the Week: Ownit
 
 ✍️ Notes From The Editors  
We had an exciting time attending Y Combinator’s W22 Demo Day last week! More than 400 companies pitched during the two days of presentations. We wrote rapid-fire rundowns on over 25 of our favorite companies from Demo Day. You can read all of them on this Twitter thread.
 
Two companies we’ve covered in the past, Metafy and Kyte, had some exciting updates these past few weeks. Metafy CEO Josh Fabian announced on April 1st that they had been acquired by Nintendo—you can check out his awesome April Fools video on LinkedIn. Kyte, on a more serious (but equally exciting) note, raised $200 million in credit financing from Goldman Sachs and Ares, a private equity firm. You can read the announcement on Bloomberg.
 
 - Arek and Ethan 🦄
 
 
Easy connected checkout for brands
 
 
Ownit gives direct-to-consumer brands the ability to sell their products on any platform through a single, consolidated checkout page. Regardless of where a customer found the product (social media, email, text, or anywhere else online), it can be immediately purchased using a unique Ownit checkout link.
 
 
🔗 Check them out: ownit.co
 
 
💰 Business Model
Ownit takes a small percentage of each transaction made and doesn’t charge fixed fees.
 
📈 Traction and Fundraising
  • Raised $8 million seed round with investors like SciFi VC, GGV Capital, Caffeinated Capital, Abstract Ventures, and a number of angels
  • Currently supports purchasing through websites like Shopify and Amazon and offers payment options like PayPal, Shop Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay
  • Ran initial beta test with ten companies in the consumer packaged goods, cosmetics, and nutrition spaces
 
👫 Founder(s)
  • Payman Nejati, CEO: Previously Co-Founder & CRO @ Anycart, Founder & CEO @ Handpick (Acquired by Amazon), Director @ Omnicom, MBA @ UCLouvain, Politics & Diplomacy and Chinese Language @ Fudan University, Management & Economics @ Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles
  • Evan Shiue, COO/CFO: Previously VP Strategy @ Standard Cognition, Corporate Strategy & Development @ Unity, Corporate Development @ PepsiCo, Corporate Development @ Walmart, Industrial Engineering @ Stanford
  • Joel Tan, CTO: Previously Software Dev Manager @ Amazon Lab126, Co-Founder & CTO @ Handpick (Acquired by Amazon), Information Systems @ University of Melbourne
 
💼 Opportunities
Be sure to mention you came from Unicorner when applying!
 
🔮 Our Analysis
Ownit describes itself as the “Plaid for e-commerce,” which we think is an interesting and pretty accurate analogy. Whereas Plaid does the grunt work in connecting dozens of banks to merchants through a simple interface, Ownit makes it possible for brands to sell products and seamlessly accept payments using various processors anywhere on the web. It comes at a time when one-click checkout solutions are booming—services like Bolt have raised over a billion in funding from top investors. According to the team, Ownit differentiates itself from competitors like Bolt by connecting all partners in the checkout process (platforms, commerce & retailers, payments, brands & creators) and by requiring no tech integration. The company has also positioned itself in a place where it can assist brands that need its service most, as seen in its beta launch with companies in the CPG space. That, in combination with the founding team’s strong background at companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Standard Cognition, makes Ownit a company we’re eagerly keeping our eyes on.
 
📚 Further Reading
 
 
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Made with 💜 by the Unicorner Team 🦄
 
 
🎁 Bonus Content!
This week, we’re doing something a bit different for our bonus content. We’ve asked Jason Yoong, Head of Partnerships at Ownit, a few questions about the company and his experience in his role. Below are his responses.
 
You started working with Ownit just months after its founding. How would you describe the culture it’s cultivating?
 
Ownit is for the pioneers who want to invent the next frontier of commerce and fintech. For the builders who strive to raise the bar. We pride ourselves on the following values:
 
Proactive Positivity
Build things up instead of tearing things down. We must dare to think about our problem sets like no one else has before.
 
We are all Owners
Owners represent the company, not just their team. Owners may not know the answer but we’ll work with each other to figure it out. Every aspect of our work can be enhanced through collaboration—both within and across teams. We take responsibility for outcomes and are empowered to make the decisions that will lead to those outcomes.
 
Win-Win Partnerships
The best partnerships are win-win-win: they are good for us, good for our partners, and even more so for our shared customers, the shoppers. This means our choices aren't "it’s not your way or my way", rather it should be a better way, a higher way. We make decisions for the longer term while considering all stakeholders involved.
 
Transparency
We can’t solve problems if we don’t know they exist. Transparency means disclosing relevant information, even if no one has asked for it. We bring issues to light before they have a chance to become full-blown problems. It’s our actions that earn the trust of our colleagues, investors, partners and customers.
 
What does your day-to-day as Head of Partnerships at a seed-stage company look like?
 
Scaling a startup is a learning force multiplier because every day you are altitude switching (macro: drafting 3-year plan/micro: launching Connected Checkout links with brand partners) and context switching (partnerships, product development, voice of the customer, analytics, GTM strategy, hiring, team building, and more).
 
It's a lot of fun. I highly recommend it!
 
As the company grows, what kind of impact do you want it to have on the world of e-commerce?
 
We believe the next frontier is checkout at the point of discovery. We envision a checkout experience that connects all parties—platforms, commerce & retailers, payments, brands & creators—to help shoppers quickly make the best purchase decision by showing pricing and purchase options all in one place. This will create a new standard in frictionless commerce.
 
If you enjoyed our deep dive with Jason and want to see more content like this in the future, let us know by replying to this email!
 
 
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