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Paperstack uses Google Cloud to empower e-commerce sellers

October 21, 2022
Assel Beglinova

CEO, Paperstack

Vadim Lidich

CTO, Paperstack

Facing tight margins, e-commerce retailers are always trying to find the perfect balance between keeping inventory in stock and meeting changing market demands. This challenge has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, where costs and supply chain disruptions continue to rise.  

Recognizing the challenges facing e-commerce companies, we built Paperstack. Our competitive financing enables e-commerce companies to routinely purchase inventory, invest in advertising, and even hire new talent. Many customers of Paperstack are e-commerce brands that use platforms like Shopify, Wix, Etsy, Square, and others and have been generating revenue for at least 12 months. Most of them use funds to fuel their marketing efforts, buy larger quantities of inventory, and cover fees for freelancers. At the same time, we empower e-commerce sellers to streamline operations with sophisticated machine learning (ML) algorithms that automatically track, analyze, and display critical business metrics on a personalized dashboard while removing bias. 

“The funding process can be very demoralizing. I was feeling discouraged by the time I came across Paperstack. They brought genuine interest and excitement instead of frustration and disappointment. Funding was straightforward, fair and easy. I remain grateful for their advice, excellent communication and encouragement. They are truly standouts in the messy world of small business funding.” — Allison Tryk, Founder/CEO, Floramye 

Since launching in 2021, Paperstack onboarded over 250 e-commerce companies that generated over 10 million in demand for working capital in on-demand funding, successfully rolling out new products and increasing their sales. As Paperstack continues to grow, we’ll introduce additional solutions and services that enable e-commerce sellers to further lower overhead costs and profitably scale their business.  

“Assel, Vadim and the Paperstack team have been wonderful to work with. They are the embodiment of what a funding partner should be - a partner that genuinely wants you to succeed. They provided us with working capital at a crucial time of growth for our company. Since working with Paperstack, we have been able to expand our team and our space while allowing us to grow our revenues. Not only does Paperstack provide funding, they have also built a wonderful network of entrepreneurs and consistently deliver value through their resources such as their podcasts. They are truly a game changing partner and we are proud to have partnered with them.” — Charlene Li and Vincent Li, founders, Eatable

Designing a commercially viable product, accelerating time to market

We felt the time had come to positively disrupt the e-commerce space by helping small online merchants overcome basic startup costs so they can compete on a global scale. Prior to Paperstack, Assel Beglinova spent over 3 years in banking where she helped thousands of customers to get access to credit. She saw how outdated the process was, and realized that there was so much innovation needed when it came to the internet economy. We also knew we needed to play an active role in closing the funding gap for women, who receive less than three percent of e-commerce venture capital. Being a female immigrant founder and experiencing the realities of fundraising for women founders, Assel made it her mission to empower founders who look and sound like her with the capital and resources they need to grow.

Paperstack founders Assel Beglinova and Vadim Lidich

After formulating a business plan and building a pre-market version of Paperstack in Google Data Studio, we applied to join the Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders program. We wanted to make Paperstack a reality and hoped the accelerator would help us design a commercially viable product and speed time to market. It did.

Participating in the program gave us immediate access to the Google Cloud e-commerce team, the incredible technical knowledge of dedicated Google for Startups experts, and Google Cloud credits which we used to affordably trial and deploy Google Cloud solutions. We also connected with mentors, introduced ourselves to Google Cloud customers, and talked to many e-commerce companies that had completed different Google for Startups accelerators.

“First and foremost as a Black woman founder navigating scaling my business with historically limited access to capital, it’s amazing to see another woman changing this narrative. It’s been so great being a part of the Paperstack portfolio. Not just because of the extra capital, but also the hands-on support from Assel and team. They’ve held fireside chats with industry experts for us and Ivan has armed me with my own personal library of supplier and investor contacts. The funding was a great bridge for us to work on increasing brand awareness and cover our overhead including our warehouse rent. We used the funds to improve PR packaging and increased our team of ambassadors from 8 to 40 within one month. Paperstack is truly working to stand out from other providers through the resources they provide, an intuitive dashboard, and feasible fees for small businesses.” — Alicia Scott, Founder & CEO, Range Beauty

In less than three months, we leveraged the secure-by-design infrastructure of Google Cloud and the expertise of Google Cloud engineers to build the first commercial iteration of Paperstack. Our backend is written in JavaScript, which we seamlessly deploy on App Engine and take advantage of features such as auto scaling. In addition, we use Cloud Functions to create and connect event driven services—and work closely with Google Cloud partner MongoDB to integrate, optimize, and deploy our databases. 

We rely on Data Studio to power customizable and personalized dashboards, while innovating quickly and easily on Google Workspace. We’re also looking forward to exploring additional Google Cloud AI and machine learning products such as Vertex AI to further expand the capabilities of our business analytics.

Scaling Paperstack with the Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders

Launching, scaling, and commercializing a market-ready platform on a limited budget would not have been possible without the amazing support of the Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders. Since completing the program, we’ve received positive feedback from investors, raised several rounds of funding, and participated in additional industry accelerators such as Techstars Equitech Accelerator —a partner of Google for Startups—and the FinTech Sandbox Accelerator.

“I am absolutely in love with Paperstack and what they are building. Since helping me land funding I was struggling to access otherwise, they took a chance on my business The Established which allowed me to finally initiate some projects we had been keeping at bay due to lack of resources. I have since strongly connected with the founders and I love what they are doing to build a community and network in which I can feel seen and supported as an marginalized founder.” — Essence Iman, Founder/CEO,  The Established

Although we’ve come a long way, our journey is only beginning. We plan to launch Paperstack in new markets worldwide and empower millions of e-commerce companies to build economically sustainable businesses with the financial resources and tools our company provides. We’re also dedicated to helping women founders in the e-commerce space get equal access to capital by designing our underwriting and funding evaluation process in an inclusive, bias-free way. That means our underwriting technology does not disadvantage people who didn’t go to target school, or those who don’t come from a privileged background. As a result, we’ve noticed that 80% of our customers are women and minority founders - or 16 times more than the industry average! 

As we expand the Paperstack team, we’ll continue to work closely with our partners at Google for Startups to connect with the right people, products, and best practices to grow our success.

If you want to learn more about how Google Cloud can help your startup, visit our page here to get more information about our program, and sign up for our communications to get a look at our community activities, digital events, special offers, and more.
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