Launched in 2014 by Rudy Bekerejian, eComz is a smart, e-commerce website builder and SAAS platform that is completely cloud hosted and all about strengthening businesses’ online presence, driving sales and simplifying the process.

Recently, we sat down with co-founder Rudy Bekerejian and discussed their platform and their experience with the program so far.

Q: Why did you choose to apply to the TIP program and what were you hoping to achieve/benefit from the program?

A:In the startup industry, every time one is given the opportunity to talk about their business, passion, and ideas, they need to make the best out of it. When we first started, there was a drive in Lebanon to create a hub for technology, and I had hope in the launching of such initiatives from big players in Lebanon whereby touch was one of them. When I first saw TIP, it was about time that I joined such a program, and thus I applied without giving it a second thought. I was very happy to be part of the winners of the program.

When touch announced us winners, it was a major win for us; we thus achieved great credibility. Our technology is backed by many players that are trying to help our platform level up and take it regionally, or even globally.

Q: What problem is your solution working on addressing?

A:We want to help regional merchants follow the global trend of ecommerce. The region is very behind on ecommerce. Coming from North American experience, my partner and I have a lot of experience in the ecommerce industry and saw a huge potential where many people in Lebanon either don’t know about ecommerce or have never bought through ecommerce platforms. This huge opportunity required us to come to the region and provide merchants with the easiest and smartest way to move online. The region needs it. Since Ecomz is a global platform, it could work for anyone and anywhere; however, our focus is the MENA. Our main goal is to help MENA merchants grow locally and globally and to be the bridge between the region and the world and vice versa.

Q: What’s the current state of your startup?

A:Last year, Q2 2017, we had our MVP and started selling; we had a lot of traction. As of today, we have several stores on our platform in addition to large brands selling through our platform such as Indevco, Pellini, Izzat Daouk and several others. These global merchants find our platform very attractive and some even said that “it is too good to be true”. Merchants are coming in and jumping unto our platform and they already love what we are offering.

My partner and I have been working around the clock in the past 6 months to secure a multimillion dollar fund, and we are very close to closing it now. We have already signed a term sheet and still have some legal duties to fulfill. We have big regional and global investors backing us up right now and will take us to the next level by helping us financially.

Q: What are your customers/users saying about your solution?

A:Up until now, we almost have negletctable churn rate on our platform. After conducting some interviews, most of our users’ answers were on how good our support and service are. Many companies or people attribute that to the sales team; however, the sales team would’ve never been able to do so if the platform as a whole was not perfect. The rule of ecommerce is all about optimization and constantly scaling your platform until it becomes flawless. Our efforts are accumulating by moving one step at a time, and just as I always tell my team: 1 happy customer at a time, we can grow our platform.

Q: What have you benefited from the program so far?

A:The fact that we were selected to participate in the program by leading figures in the industry gives our investors and clients an incentive and gives us credibility, exposure, and recognition. The first workshop on sales with Abed changed our whole perspective on sales. We’ve managed to change the way we’ve been pitching and have already found results by securing better sales. Concerning the mentorship, we’ve had one successful meeting so far. To sum it up, the workshop, mentorship, and exposure from the event have been great so far, and this is just the beginning.

Q: Would you advise this program to other startups?

A:This is a no-brainer. Startups need this program to gain exposure and have the chance to talk about their ideas. Not only does the program help validate your startup, but it also takes it to another level. In addition, if big brands want to help themselves and the country, I also encourage them to apply to such programs.