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Amazon acquires Selz, a Shopify competitor that helps small businesses build online stores

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com Inc., speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon has bought Selz, a company that makes tools to help businesses launch their own online stores.

Amazon quietly acquired the e-commerce platform on Jan. 15, but it didn’t publicize the acquisition. Selz announced the deal in a company blog post

“We have signed an agreement to be acquired by Amazon and are looking forward to working with them as we continue to build easy-to-use tools for entrepreneurs,” Martin Rushe, CEO and founder of Selz, said in the blog post.

An Amazon spokeswoman confirmed the acquisition. The spokeswoman declined to disclose the terms of the deal. Representatives from Selz didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

In recent months, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has zeroed in on Shopify, an e-commerce enabler that has seen its business skyrocket during the pandemic, as a competitor as consumers have turned to online retailers for both essential and non-essential goods during the pandemic. 

Amazon previously operated a service similar to Shopify, called Amazon Webstore, that allowed small businesses to run online stores built on Amazon’s technology. However, the company shut down Amazon Webstore in 2015.  

The Selz acquisition comes as Amazon’s third-party marketplace, made up of more than 2.5 million sellers, continues to thrive. The segment now accounts for more than half of Amazon’s e-commerce sales and has helped Amazon bring in record revenue.  

Providing more tools for small- and medium-sized businesses to quickly move their operations online could give Amazon a competitive edge against the likes of Shopify and e-commerce software company BigCommerce.

Founded in 2013, Selz is based in Sydney, Australia, and provides small- and medium-sized businesses with a platform to launch their own online stores and add online payment options to existing websites, among other tools. The company employs less than 50 people, according to LinkedIn.

In the blog post, Rushe said “nothing is changing” for Selz customers as a result of the Amazon acquisition. 

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