Gumroad has built a reputation among content owners as an ecommerce platform for everything digital. While not a marketplace like iTunes and Amazon, the platform allows its merchants to sell content in the publishing, music, video, and software categories, among others (in that order of popularity). Previously, all content was available for download only, but today the company changed that with the launch of its video streaming service.
Gumroad, the Kleiner Perkins-backed startup that allows you to sell anything through a simple link, is announcing some additions to its publishing program today, while also sharing some of its early success stories.
Ryan Delk, who leads the company’s growth and partnership efforts, said traditional publishing is “still operating on economics and strategies that were invented 20 years ago.” Specifically, he said, “The power has shifted — it no longer lies with these aggregators and marketplaces, but with individuals and their existing platforms.” That’s the kind of shift that Gumroad (with its ethos of “share and sell the stuff you make directly to your audience”) is trying to take advantage of, in this case giving authors an easy way to sell to fans directly. Delk added that publishing is one of the company’s “biggest verticals.”
And as of today, Delk said there are a number of features that should make Gumroad more useful for authors. For one thing, the company has improved its analytics, allowing authors to see the conversion rates of different sources. In other words, authors can now see if fans who come from Twitter (for example) are more likely to buy the book than those from Facebook – if that’s the case, then it makes sense to promote heavily on Twitter, even if it drives less traffic overall.
Some of the hottest startups out right now are those in the payments sector. Square, Stripe, Flattr and Braintree are some leading the pack, as well as newcomer Gumroad, which wants to make it as easy to sell to followers as it is to share a link.
First Round Capital Design+Startup with IDEO - Sahil Lavingia of Gumroad
Gumroad is a web payment startup which launched this February, garnered a lot of hype, and quickly raised a total of $8.1 million from A-list investors. The original concept was to create a drop-dead-simple platform for commerce on the web, so that users could sell items as easily as they shared a link. But recently a new class of users has been flocking to the platform: professional musicians like Girl Talk, Wiz Khalifa and David Banner.
Gumroad, the startup that wants to help people sell anything with only a link, is making a big push into the music industry. The company has partnered with a number of prominent music industry organizations, and is beginning to launch products that are perfectly suited for artists. Today, the company is launching a Platform API that will allow any website to integrate the Gumroad transaction interface for the user. For example, PandoDaily could hook up our events page to Gumroad and the entire transaction of buying a ticket would be done within the window of the site.
App Inspiration and Interview with Gumroad CEO Sahil Lavingia
Sahil joined Pinterest, where he worked as a designer for a year before encountering another problem he wanted to solve. He was designing an icon in photoshop and wanted to sell it to his Twitter followers but couldn’t find a good way to sell digital content online. Gumroad, his current company, solves that need. The company is doing pretty darn well. My condolences to USC, as I don’t think Sahil will be going back anytime soon.
Sahil Lavingia has a gift for building what people want. A look at his resume reveals he was a designer for Pinterest, built the iPhone app for Turntable.fm, and now he's the founder of Gumroad, a startup with the modest ambition of enabling people to sell anything (a song, a snippet of code, an icon design) to anyone.
Gumroad, the startup that lets individuals receive e-payments through a simple URL link, has received $7 million in new funding led by Silicon Valley venture capital stalwart Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers. Gumroad founder and CEO Sahil Lavingia tells me the new funding will be put toward hiring more people to bulk up its current staff of three. “I just really want to build a sustainable company that scales, and I think Kleiner Perkins and Mike [Abbott] just want to help me do that. He really believes in the larger vision.”
Received $7M Series A Funding
Participation Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, CrunchFund
An introduction to Gumroad.
Big Omaha 2012: Sahil Lavingia of Gumroad
Gumroad, the buzzy one-man startup launched by Pinterest and Turntable app designer (and 19-year-old college dropout) Sahil Lavingia, officially launches today with over $1.1 million in seed funding from investors Accel Partners, Chris Sacca, Max Levchin, SV Angel, Josh Kopelman, Seth Goldstein, Naval Ravikrant, Collaborative Fund and Danny Rimer.
Received $1.1M Seed Funding
Participation Accel Partners, Chris Sacca, Max Levchin, SV Angel, Josh Kopelman, Seth Goldstein