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Meet Montonio, an e-commerce checkout solution created by a small startup based in Tallinn, Estonia. The company just raised a $12 million Series A funding round (€11 million) led by Index Ventures. It wants to become the only tech partner you need to run a small and medium e-commerce shop.
Montonio is a multi-faceted product that has been specifically designed for its home market and its neighbor countries — but the startup thinks it could work all around Europe. The company facilitates payments, integrates with several "buy now, pay later" financing options and handles deliveries and refunds.
On the payment side, when it’s time to buy something online, Montonio takes over and handles payments directly. The startup supports card payments through integrations with partners. While debit and credit cards have become the default payment solution for many people around the world, many people are already paying with different methods.
And this is where Montonio becomes interesting. In the Baltics, customers often initiate payments from their bank accounts directly. Montonio has been building out open banking connections so that it can initiate payments at a lower cost.
By developing these integrations in house, the company also has more flexibility and technical control over the process. If customers choose to pay using payment links, Montonio charges €0.05 + VAT per payment. That’s much cheaper than card payments.
Montonio currently supports all major banks in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and a few major banks in Finland. The startup is going to focus on Poland next.
Once you build a startup that handles payments, you want to build a startup that handles refunds as well. Montonio customers can process refunds from Montonio’s dashboard.
Similarly, once a payment is processed, you want to automatically generate an order number and initiate deliveries. Montonio automatically queries delivery providers to generate labels. And the product can also be used to generate return labels when necessary.
Eventually, Montonio wants to become a one-stop shop for everything that happens once you click the purchase button. The company calls this process the "post-checkout experience". For instance, Montonio can also act as an aggregator for different financing solutions.
“For each service, we’re building multi-threading in our product. Even when you look at our financing product, we have multiple partners,” Montonio co-founder and CEO Markus Lember (pictured above) told me.
While small and medium e-commerce retailers don’t want to pay too much to process payments, they could pay for additional services and a simple product that replaces a patchwork of payment and e-commerce services. Montonio offers plugins for WooCommerce, Prestashop, Magento 1 & 2, Odoo, Voog, OpenCart and CsCart. There's also a programming interface for custom integrations.
And it seems to be doing well in Estonia, as around half of online shoppers have interacted with Montonio already. It’s going to be interesting to see if the company can reproduce the same numbers in other markets.
“The team is best in class, very technical and very agile. The organic traction is through the roof. There are very compelling market trends that will open up the market and Montonio is just anticipating this shift,” Index Ventures partner Julia Andre told me.
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