Sam Yagan conquered the online dating world being the co-founder of OkCupid and former CEO of The Match Group. Yagan is also the managing director of the venture fund Corazon Capital. After conquering the dating world, Yagan now wants to conquer the online e-commerce world. In 2016, Yagan joined as the chief executive officer of ShopRunner to get the taste of the online retail world. He replaced PayPal’s president Scott Thompson for the CEO post in ShopRunner. Following that, in an aggressive move, ShopRunner announced its acquisition of the online shopping app Spring just after ShopRunner had its first profitable year. ShopRunner is an Alibaba-backed subscription-based online shopping company.
The Major Changes After Sam Yagan’s Appointment
The first thing Yagan did was moving the company’s center of operation from Silicon Valley to Chicago which is his hometown. This move was significant as Yagan wants to prepare the company to battle with Amazon which is the leader in the online retail world. Though the concept of ShopRunner is unique and very different from Amazon, it is clicking well among the targeted audiences.
Following Yagan’s appointment, the company raised over $40 million from August Capital, and it is the first fundraising since 2009. The company reported that they are going to utilize the money for product development, for mergers and acquisitions, and employing data science for improving the user experience.
Soon after the fundraising, the company acquired Spring which is an online shopping app. Yagan has refused to disclose the acquisition value or the current valuation of ShopRunner. However, he left a hint by saying that the latest valuation is in hundreds of millions. At the time of acquisition, Spring had 30 employees, the majority of them are engineers. However, ShopRunner did not take all the employees as they already have similar employees in the company.
The Future Road
Yagan plans to give a major overhaul to Spring platform. The major update is likely to come in the mobile app Spring in November. The company aims to make a digital mall with an easy payment system to compete with Amazon directly. Yagan also said that they have eyes of various startups and they are likely to acquire a few more companies to give Amazon the toughest fight. ShopRunner currently offers its members free 2-day shipping and free return option. By acquiring Spring, ShopRunner is offering its members an actual marketplace to get access to the products for hundreds of brands just like Amazon. In fact, Yagan is aiming at the Amazon Prime members with their membership plans and better shipping and return experience.