UK start-up Congo to build e-commerce infrastructure
London-based start-up Congo has unveiled its plans to build an open-source decentralised e-commerce infrastructure on blockchain.
The firm says it is inspired by WordPress and Magento and wants to “become the new standard platform” to power online stores and marketplaces.
It’s aiming high and plans to grab a share of what Amazon, eBay, Alibaba and Shopify do.
Congo says: “For the past ten years, the retail landscape has been completely redefined by e-commerce – a go-to destination for quick and fuss-free shopping, booming with a vast selection of price and choice, along with time and effort saving incentives on the shopper’s part.
“Not only has it revolutionised the way we shop, but it has also been the driving force of the majority of industries worldwide, induced by the principle of bringing buyers and sellers under one roof.”
Clearly the company wants to tap into this juicy market and unleashes stats to support all this.
According to Congo, by 2021, e-commerce sales are expected to hit $4.4 trillion worldwide (respectively, sales in 2017 reached up to $2.3 trillion worldwide), and by 2025, it is predicted to become the world’s third largest luxury market after China and the US.
Like many start-ups, Congo comes out with the usual lines about democracy.
It reckons the monetary benefits end up in the “pockets of key shareholders and investment funds”.
This stems from two “central problems”. Congo says sellers are not seeing a fair ROI, due to the main players of e-commerce rewarding themselves. Buyers are also paying an extra 10–45% mark up, due to seller’s fees.
Congo wants to change all that, and will let anyone in the world build a new blockchain based e-commerce infrastructure, which is compatible with crypto (BTC, ETH, CONG and CNG stable coin) and fiat (USD, EUR, GBP) payments.
This means anyone can become a buyer or seller on its blockchain marketplace.
This particular infrastructure of Congo will allow B2C, B2B and C2C selling, “essentially most of what Amazon, eBay, Alibaba and Shopify does”.
It’s in the early stages of construction as it doesn’t have a website or launch date yet.
Congo told FinTech Futures that its website will be built in “a couple of weeks”. It is working on funding in early autumn and is looking for investors.
Congo was founded by Sebastian Mineev and Tomas Zalatoris. Both currently work at Clouder. This is not a cloud-related fintech firm, but a vape marketplace.
Zalatoris has plenty of experience in fintech. He is a current investor in UK challenger bank Monzo and was co-founder and CEO of Payper Technologies. The latter was another marketplace – but this time for consumers and retailers.