A&S alumnus led Bonsai closes $21M to scale embedded commerce solution for publishers like Buzzfeed, Vox

March 30, 2022 by BetaKit Josh Scott

Toronto-based Bonsai has secured $21 million CAD in Series A financing to build on the recent growth of its “point of discovery” online checkout technology.

Launched in 2016 as a men’s streetwear shopping and news app, Bonsai shifted into a commerce tech company for media publishers in 2020. A&S Alumnus, Bonsai founder and CEO Saad Siddiqui called the startup’s latest financing “evidence that the pivot worked.”

“Our hypothesis has always been around content and commerce,” Siddiqui told BetaKit in an interview. “How do we get people to buy from content speaking of their products? That hasn’t changed.” What did change, however, was that the Bonsai team realized that rather than serve as a curator themselves, they were “better off” providing their commerce infrastructure to other companies.

Now, with a list of high-profile media publisher customers that includes BuzzFeed and Vox, Bonsai is ready to bolster its product, expand its retail partner catalogue, and start facilitating sales on new platforms. To get there, Bonsai plans to double the size of its 90-person team over the next 18 months.

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