Liam Millward and co-founder William Gao have joined forces to help bring beautiful, seamless 1-click checkout experiences to e-commerce. They’re exactly the type of founders that we want to back - hungry, ambitious with deep domain expertise and an enormous vision to solve a problem that they see as their life’s work.
For a Founder and CEO who is only 18, Liam has the energy, drive and hustle to build a foundational company, in addition to having the requisite maturity and experience to engage top-tier investors, C-level and VP-level execs to build partnerships. We are looking forward to supporting Liam on his journey to speed up the e-commerce experience.
Checkout in e-commerce has become a bit of a nightmare. With numerous payment buttons and unnecessary complexity, 7 out of 10 consumers still abandon their cart.
Shoppers have come to expect the simplicity of Amazon’s one-click checkout, allowing users to flow through the checkout process in one tap (instead of the average 17). But while Amazon commands an extensive reach, their checkout technology is confined to their ecosystem and not available to other e-commerce stores. The problem is, we have come to expect the ease of an Amazon-like checkout experience everywhere. This is what Instant is aiming to accomplish, bringing a one-click checkout experience to millions of shoppers.
Instant is solving this problem by building the world’s most simple checkout experience. They are starting by solving the abandoned cart problem with the eventual goal to create a ‘checkout as a platform’, building an ‘amazon marketplace’ of e-commerce products for merchants, increasing their revenue across the four core pillars of checkout (including a fraud engine), data analytics, social commerce and payments (including the integration of BNPLs and crypto).
Their vision is not limited to just a 1-click checkout experience, they are aiming to be the home of simple transactions anywhere. Whether that’s on e-commerce stores, Instagram stories, or an outdoor advertising QR code. Instant will create a simplistic experience from anywhere, from direct browser devices to potentially integrating into bill payments and more. Shoppers will have a single identity to shop securely, wherever they are.
Starting with e-commerce, Instant will reduce the 17 clicks on average that it takes to complete a purchase online, providing a 1-click checkout experience. Instant has also put a heavy emphasis on making the onboarding process as easy as possible for new merchants. This process takes less than 5 minutes for a new seller to install and start using Instant on their site.
In addition to direct e-commerce checkout companies, large payment service providers including Stripe and Braintree (owned by PayPal) offer pre-built and customisable checkout solutions. While these solutions are a viable alternative for some merchants, in practice their use cases are limited. The pre-built checkouts are extremely limited in functionality, and a merchant would need dedicated engineering resources to implement, maintain and update a customisable checkout. Ultimately, both Stripe and Braintree are focused on payments and handling the underlying financial infrastructure as their core value proposition.
Despite the multiple players in this space, e-commerce is becoming so big and so critical to the global economy that multiple players will be successful. We believe the winners in this space will be the companies that can successfully develop the right value propositions for the right target customers while being able to navigate the technical complexities that come with developing a solution aligned with the 'headless' e-commerce megatrend.
Future of Commerce:
One of the themes we have been bullish on at TEN13 is the future of e-commerce and the growing set of e-commerce enablement tools that will be required to service the record amount of e-commerce expenditure and companies now building e-commerce businesses.
Our outlook is shaped primarily by three distinct drivers:
The rapid evolution of e-commerce: businesses revamping and upgrading their digital infrastructure to meet the unexpected surge in demand has ushered in a new wave of e-commerce. Dubbed 'E-commerce 3.0' or 'headless commerce', companies are beginning to decouple the front-end UI layer from their back-end infrastructure to increase the flexibility and agility both for their developers and consumers. Monolithic e-commerce platforms cannot offer the seamless omnichannel experience demanded by today's consumers. A massive opportunity exists to solve this problem by building a functionally simple offering that can be rapidly deployed to aggregate the essential components of a full-service checkout solution. E-commerce is separating from a bundled solution into a more distributed solution between front-end and back-end with Instant aiming to be one of the dominant front-end enablement players.
Strong Founding Team: Liam and Will have the e-commerce domain expertise and the firepower to go and solve this massive problem.
Liam MillwardCo-Founder & CEO: 18-year-old child prodigy & co-founder. Started his first business at age 14 which was a digital travel magazine that he grew to 50k monthly readers, partnered with 190 councils around Australia, and won multiple tourism grants. Wound this down when COVID hit and it became difficult to produce content. His second business, started at age 16, was an e-commerce store that he grew to $10k MRR. Having cart abandonment issues, the idea for Instant was born. Fast-tracked his education to finish year 12 at age 16. Liam founded Instant in November 2020.
William Gao - Co-Founder & CTO: has been a full-time software engineer since the age of 17. Tech and product lead at Wisetech ($17b market cap) before joining Liam as Co-Founder of Instant in May 2021.
Major Opportunity: Massive and growing market:
E-commerce is one of the biggest markets on the entire internet and there will be multiple winners in the checkout space. With such a large unsolved problem residing at the checkout, we are excited to be able to support Liam and the team at Instant in their vision for e-commerce.
Strong Aligned Investor Backing: Blackbird Ventures is leading with participation from strategic angels like Larry Diamond (Founder of ZIP), Simone Mancini (Founder of Scalapay), and Huey Lin (founding COO at Affirm). These investors are able to help plug Liam and the Instant team into the right e-commerce networks, as well as helping to mitigate some of the future funding risks that many pre-Seed startups can sometimes face.
Liam and the team at Instant are hiring across Engineering, Marketing, Operations, and Sales!
Investor Spotlight Series - Daniel Johnson
Introducing our Investor Spotlight Series, highlighting the leading supporters of startups in the Australian ecosystem. First up, Daniel Johnson, a successful founder turned angel investor with over 70 startups in his portfolio so far.
AFSL Disclaimer TEN13 Management Pty Ltd (TEN13 Management) is a corporate authorised representative of Boutique Capital Pty Ltd (BCPL) AFSL 508011, CAR Number 1298306. TEN13 Nominee Pty Ltd (TEN13 Nominee) is a corporate authorised representative of BCPL, CAR Number 1298307. Together, TEN13 Management and TEN13 Nominee are referred to as we, us, or our in this document. To the extent to which this document contains advice it is general advice only and has been prepared by us for individuals identified as wholesale investors for the purposes of providing a financial product or financial service, under Section 761G or Section 761GA of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). The information herein is presented in summary form and is therefore subject to qualification and further explanation. The information in this document is not intended to be relied upon as advice to investors or potential investors and has been prepared without taking into account personal investment objectives, financial circumstances or particular needs. Recipients of this document are advised to consult their own professional advisers about legal, tax, financial or other matters relevant to the suitability of this information. The investment summarised in this document is subject to known and unknown risks, some of which are beyond our control and our directors, employees, advisers or agents. We do not guarantee any particular rate of return or the performance, nor do we and our directors personally guarantee the repayment of capital or any particular tax treatment. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. The materials contained herein represent a general summary of our current portfolio construction approach. We are not constrained with respect to any investment decision making methodologies and may vary from them materially at its sole discretion and without prior notice to investors. Depending on market conditions and trends, we may pursue other objectives or strategies considered appropriate and in the best interest of portfolio performance. There are risks involved in investing in our strategy. All investments carry some level of risk, and there is typically a direct relationship between risk and return. We describe what steps we take to mitigate risk (where possible) in the investment documentation, which must be read prior to investing. It is important to note that despite taking such steps, we cannot mitigate risk completely. This document was prepared as a private communication to clients, is confidential and is not intended for public circulation or publication or for the use of any third party, without our approval. Whilst this report is based on information from sources which we consider reliable, its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Data is not necessarily audited or independently verified. Any opinions reflect our judgment at this date and are subject to change. We have no obligation to provide revised assessments in the event of changed circumstances. To the extent permitted by law, BCPL, we and their directors and employees do not accept any liability for the results of any actions taken or not taken on the basis of information in this report, or for any negligent misstatements, errors or omissions. TEN13 Disclaimer TEN13 Nominee may, from time to time hold securities referred to in the information herein and may trade in these securities as a nominee (either as principal or as agent). We may receive commissions, fees or other forms of remuneration from transactions involving investments referred to in the materials. By accepting the materials contained herein, you agree to indemnify TEN13 Management, TEN13 Nominee, Transition Level Investments Pty Ltd ACN 154 457 155, TEN13 Holding Pty Ltd ACN 634 042 783, and Birkdale Holdings (Qld) Pty Ltd ACN 120 407 981 ATF the Baxter Family Trust and any of their respectivedirectors, officers, employees, consultants, advisors or agents (TEN13 Parties) against any claim, liability, action, damage, loss, cost or expense sustained by any of them arising from or as a result of any breach by you of the confidentiality obligation under this disclaimer. The TEN13 Parties: disclaim and exclude all liability for all losses, claims, damages, costs and expenses of any nature arising out of or in connection with the materials contained herein (or any accompanying or subsequent information); and do not have any obligation to advise any person if they become aware of any inaccuracy in, or omission from, the materials contained herein (or any accompanying or subsequent information).