Nikolay Iliev, CloudCart CEO: "Improving infrastructure and digital skills is crucial for the dynamism of the e-commerce market"

George Marinescu
English Section / 22 decembrie 2023

Nikolay Iliev - CEO CloudCart

Nikolay Iliev - CEO CloudCart

The e-commerce market is booming in our country, if we look at the volumes of goods that companies and stores sell online, volumes that are ever greater and which on Black Friday, the winter holidays and Easter reach impressive numbers. According to a recently published report, which analyzes the Digital Market Outlook data, revenues from the e-commerce market in Romania will reach 7 billion euros at the end of 2023, respectively almost 12 billion euros by 2027.

The main actors in e-commerce believe that the year 2023 was the year of consolidation, investments in UX, optimization and automation in e-Commerce and they estimate for the next year a refinement - both from the perspective of the technique behind online stores, and from the perspective of strategies communication, targeting, increasing the conversion rate and the use of automation and Artificial Intelligence.

You can learn more about all these things in the following lines, from Nikolay Iliev, CEO of CloudCart, a company that offers ecommerce-as-a-service solutions that provide companies with attractive design templates and tools for automating tactics marketing to increase sales.

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Reporter: What does your company bring to the e-commerce market in our country? What facilities do you offer to customers/users in contrast to other e-commerce platforms?

Nikolay Iliev: At CloudCart, we are redefining the Romanian eCommerce landscape with our innovative eCommerce-as-a-service model. With an emphasis on local and regional collaborations, we ensure that our clients can easily navigate the complexities of the international market. Our services are designed to meet the unique needs of Romanian entrepreneurs, providing personalized tools and information for success. Our partnerships such as Kooperativa 2.0, Babel Ads, Touch Media, Anymedia, BlankPage Agency, Emiral Digital Agency, Prisma Platform Solution SRL, Itpty etc. underlines our commitment to providing state-of-the-art technology combined with local expertise. We are dedicated to expanding our partner network and providing exceptional value to our customers, positioning CloudCart as a catalyst for e-commerce success. One of the most important things we focus on is marketing - because when you don't have proper marketing tools and you don't have the analysis behind it, you don't know if you're making a good investment or not. The goal is to help people speed up their work processes by automating them with the help of AI. We're building an automated AI tool for eCommerce with many additional skills to help businesses make more money - imagine something like ChatGPT, but specialized in eCommerce.

Reporter: What is the market sector targeted by your company and what new services do you offer to customers?

Nikolay Iliev: We have already laid the foundations in countries like Bulgaria, Greece and Romania, which have great potential and great interest for us. In addition, we consider untapped markets that face minimal competition, such as Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Our innovative approach includes the integration of AI-based tools such as CloudIO, which significantly improves product description efficiency and SEO optimization for businesses, reducing costs and saving time. This aligns with our goal to be at the forefront of the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape, providing advanced and transformative solutions for our customers.

Funding round, to attract new investors

Reporter: I saw that you recently launched a new round of financing to attract new investors to the platform, a round that will be completed in the last quarter of next year. Why was this new round of funding necessary and what is the amount you want to raise? How will future investors benefit from your platform?

Nikolay Iliev: CloudCart is launching a new round of funding through SeedBlink, offering investors the opportunity to become part of our story, with the opportunity to invest starting from 2500 euros. Valued at euro14 million, CloudCart is targeting substantial growth, with an expected turnover of euro25 million over the next four years. This round is a unique opportunity for all those who want and are passionate about e-commerce and new technology to join us as shareholders, contributing to and benefiting from CloudCart's scalable model and innovative AI-based approach to the ever-evolving e-commerce sector.

Reporter: What is the situation of your company as we approach the end of 2023?

Nikolay Iliev: As 2023 draws to a close, CloudCart's journey in the CEE region, including Romania, highlights significant progress in the e-commerce sector. Serving over 1,600 clients and processing euro300 million in GMV, presence in 7 countries underlines our growing influence. Our platform is distinguished by offering advanced solutions such as CloudCart Analytics, Marketing Suite, artificial intelligence tools and a range of services, from innovative checkout processes to discount options and extensive integrations for payments, deliveries and business management. This suite of features demonstrates our commitment to providing marketers with efficient, state-of-the-art tools for success in the digital marketplace.

"The Romanian eCommerce market is full of potential"

Reporter: How do you consider the e-commerce market in our country? What should be done to boost it? Can increasing digital skills play an important role in this dynamism?

Nikolay Iliev: I observe with interest the flourishing growth of the e-commerce market in Romania, which has seen remarkable growth and expectations of continued growth in the years to come. This positive trend places Romania on a promising path in the landscape of digital commerce.

Our goal at CloudCart is to capitalize on this momentum. We believe that improving infrastructure and digital skills is crucial to further dynamism of the market. As a company, we are committed to contributing to this growth by providing advanced e-commerce solutions that leverage the latest technologies, by fostering partnerships that connect local businesses with global opportunities, and by supporting the development of AI skills essential in today's digital economy.

The Romanian eCommerce market is full of potential, and we are excited to be part of this evolving story, driving innovation and growth in this dynamic sector.

Reporter: What role will Artificial Intelligence play in the field of e-commerce? Will it completely replace the human factor or not?

Nikolay Iliev: In e-commerce, artificial intelligence is a game-changer, improving efficiency and personalizing the customer experience. The role of AI extends from product recommendations to customer support and inventory management. At CloudCart, our newest AI tool, CloudIO, exemplifies this by automating product descriptions with SEO, improving both visibility and user experience. However, AI is not a replacement for the human factor in eCommerce. Instead, it complements human qualities such as creativity and saves time.

Reporter: What assurances do you offer customers/users in terms of protection against cyber attacks? Have you faced such attacks and if so how did you respond to them?

Nikolay Iliev: At CloudCart, we place a high priority on security. Our platform is built on the highly secure and reliable Google Cloud Platform (GCP), ensuring that our merchants' stores are protected by the highest level of data encryption and advanced security measures. This robust, globally trusted infrastructure ensures that our customers' e-commerce sites are protected against cyber threats and are constantly operational, even during periods of peak traffic. Our commitment to security is unwavering and we continuously adapt to the latest security advances to provide our customers with a safe and reliable online business environment. Your stores will always be well protected against attacks and will be permanently "online", even during busy periods!

Reporter: What are the challenges you expect next year? How will the tax measures impact your company's future financial year?

Nikolay Iliev: We are strategically adapting to the changing tax environment in Romania to ensure continued growth and innovation in the e-commerce sector. We are focused on evolving our platform to be more intuitive and advanced, ensuring that we meet the dynamic needs of online commerce. We are expanding our global presence, improving localization and building strong partnerships to support businesses, from local development to international trend. Our goal is to establish CloudCart as a leading name in e-commerce not just in ECE, providing powerful and easy-to-use tools for businesses of all sizes.

Reporter: Thank you.