Fast Co-founders Domm Holland and Allison Barr Allen with some of their team at Fast HQ. Courtesy of Fast.
Online checkout startup Fast announced this week it had raised $102 million in Series B funding, paving the way for the company to hit its goal of more than doubling its staff by the end of 2021.
The latest round brings Fast’s total fundraising to $124 million since its initial pre-seed round in October 2019 – which brought in $2.5 million, followed by $20 million in Series A funding in March 2020.
Fast Chief Communications Officer Jason Alderman told The Org the funds would allow for growth across the company.
Fast started 2020 with a team of just two – cofounders Domm Holland, formerly a technologist at ITV, and Allison Barr Allen, who was most recently at Operator Collective. Now, it has grown to a team of 90. Alderman said the goal was to more than double that number and hit 200 employees by the end of the year. “We have an insatiable hunger to hire the smartest people on the planet,” he said.
Alderman, who joined the team from his role as CCO at Clover Health, added the company had a well-developed roadmap for our hiring and team expansion that focused on support and scale through hiring and growth. “That said, we live up to our company name, and if we find an extraordinary person that we know will help build Fast, we want to hire them now, even if the role is further down on our roadmap.”
But, he added, the team was especially interested in hiring on its engineering team.
“We are always looking for talented engineers to help us solve the complexities of building the fastest login and checkout solution,” he said, adding the San Francisco-based company was hiring “new Fastronauts” globally.
Fast’s engineering team is spearheaded by VP, Head of Engineering Cem Yildirim, who joined the company last year.
Yildrim, a MIT graduate, was previously a Senior Engineering Manager at Uber, where he led 12 teams in building a new commerce platform for Uber to increase the go-to-market speed for its products; including Rideshare, Eats, Freight, Jump and external partner businesses. Yildrim will no doubt be leading the team's expansion as Fast looks to expand its products and get them out to more e-commerce platforms.
In September 2020, Fast successfully launched its flagship Fast Checkout product, a one-click, one-second purchasing process that doesn’t require a password or the inputting of information after the first order. Sellers can also place Checkout on individual product pages, enabling buyers to skip the shopping cart process altogether.
Fast Checkout is now available to millions of WooCommerce and BigCommerce sellers. But Alderman said that was just the beginning, with the company planning to expand to numerous e-commerce platforms and major online retailers in the coming months -- in other words “the entire internet.” With its latest funding round, Fast said it will double-down on product expansion, reaching even more sellers through new use cases such as subscriptions and one-click online media purchases.
Fast is betting on last year’s e-commerce surge having a permanent impact on online shopping behavior. And the bet appears to be a safe one. According to TechCrunch, at least $927 million has been pumped into e-commerce infrastructure startups (Bolt, Checkout.com, Rapyd and Fast) over the past month.
The natural growth in online shopping coupled with its pandemic-induced necessity has led many to believe it will greatly increase from its current 14.3% of U.S. retail sales to a much higher percentage in coming years. In a release, Fast said shopping cart abandonment remained a huge problem, with up to 80% of all online carts left deserted, adding its Checkout allowed sellers to harness the rising volume of online shopping while ensuring the checkout process didn’t hinder sales.
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