Chris Fry, the man who waged war against the Fail Whale as Twitter’s former senior vice president of engineering, has joined Bigcommerce’s board of advisors. The e-commerce startup, which has offices in San Francisco, Austin, and Sydney, Australia, says that Fry will work with its product and development teams as its focuses on international expansion.
Last month, Bigcommerce announced that it has closed a $50 million Series D, bringing its total raised so far to $125 million. The company plans to use its new capital to grow in Asia, one of its main target markets (70 percent of its current users are based in the U.S.). CEO and co-founder Eddie Machaalani told TechCrunch that there are about 7 million to 10 million retailers in the world who still do not have an online presence, so Bigcommerce’s goal is to make it easy for those businesses to set up an online store.
In order to do that, Bigcommerce is hiring more product engineers in San Francisco to complement its research and development group in Sydney, with the goal of doubling its worldwide engineering team. In the near future, it plans to add enterprise-grade analytics and other features to its SaaS platforms that will alllow SMBs to compete with mega-retailers like Amazon.com.
Fry, who left Twitter earlier this year was responsible for growing the company’s engineering team from 500 to 1,000 engineers and improving its infrastructure as the microblogging platform prepared for its initial public offering in November 2013. Before Twitter, where he remains in an advisory position, Fry was senior vice president of development at Salesforce, where he oversaw the development of the company’s software and Chatter, its work collaboration platform.
“I see parallels in growth that Salesforce.com experienced in the late 2000s to what Bigcommerce is seeing right now. Bigcommerce is another example of a great, cloud-based software company that small and medium businesses can utilize to grow in ways that previously wasn’t accessible to them,” said Fry. “I look forward to working with the Bigcommerce engineering team to make this happen.”
In a statement, Machaalani said, “Chris is a brilliant engineer and someone who, through his experiences at Twitter and Salesforce, has led teams developing revolutionary products that have changed the world. As we double the size of our engineering team worldwide, Chris will be a phenomenal resource to help us continue executing at a high level and delivering a platform that enables merchants of all sizes to sell and compete effectively online.”