Wish: For the Fun of Modern E-Commerce
Shop 'til you drop, and right from the comfort of your own home - that's what modern-day e-commerce is all about!
With the arrival of online shopping businesses, retail therapy has never looked the same again.
It goes without saying - today's online shopping market is oversaturated with options and choices, with each brand fighting hard to earn its spot among the crème de la crème of retailers.
Out of them all, one platform stood out from the pack in quality, service and efficiency, ultimately delivering the kind of online shopping users craved - Wish!
A state-of-the-art online shop, Piotr Szulczewski's brainchild replaced physical shopping with an ever-functional, optimized, and personalized experience online.
From a one-man show to worldwide recognition, Piotr's journey in building Wish is an inspiring story of how a few clicks can nowadays deliver just about anything to your doorstep.
But how did Wish come to be in the first place? Read more about its remarkable growth here:
A Polish Businessman in Canada
Piotr Szulczewski was born in 1981, in Poland, growing up in the Warsaw neighbourhood of Tarchomin.However, after communism collapsed in Poland in 1992, eleven-year-old Piotr and his family emigrated to Waterloo, Canada.
Adapting to the new environment was a struggle for Piotr, who opted to spend more time on his computer than going out and socializing. Interested in all-things computers and software, Piotr had stayed loyal to his vocation from a very young age, devoting most of his time to absorbing new information from the fields that piqued his interests.
As a result, when he came of age, he enrolled at the University of Waterloo. Here, he met his new friend and later co-worker, Danny Zhang. After scoring a bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, Piotr moved onto building his professional career.
Initially, he stuck to his field, working as a programmer for ATI, a technology Inc. that specialized in the development of graphics and processing units and chipsets in Canada. Unfulfilled with the level of knowledge he had acquired at the company, in 2004, at the age of twenty-three, Piotr moved to California.
Here, Piotr commenced a four-month coding internship at Google, and by 2005, he had become their full-time employee. He was tasked with writing prototype algorithms for keyword expansion - a feature aiding users' product searches loved by leading advertisers.
In 2007, Piotr moved once more, this time to South Korea, where he worked at the new Google office and mastered the art of catering to his customers.
He remained loyal to Google until 2009, but once he had saved enough money, he left the company to pursue his own business. In the first six months of flying solo, Piotr focused on writing code for an ads recommendation platform that analyzed users' browsing behaviour, thus effortlessly predicting their shopping interests.
Ideas & High Ambitions
Inspired by his experience at Google, Piotr kept his eyes on the prize in developing a product the market has not seen yet.
By the time he turned twenty-nine, in 2010, Piotr had a functional idea in his hands and launched his very first software company, named Context Logic, whose main purpose was dealing with a variety of marketing technologies.
Founded in California, the company quickly gained popularity as an affordable shopping platform for Chinese products of all sorts, with its target audience mainly being middle-class households.
In 2011, Piotr invited his old college friend, Danny Zhang, to join business forces and co-found a whole new online store for willing buyers. That same year, the team of two became co-founders of the newly relaunched brand, called Wishwall.me.
It was within this framework that Piotr and Danny created Wish - a company allowing buyers to create their own wish lists and purchase products from trustworthy sellers.
As quickly as Wish earned its popularity, it also earned its fair share of badmouthing.
For one, Wish faced a huge backlash in terms of productivity and efficiency, and as a result, earned a fair amount of not-so-favourable user reviews. In addition, the company was under heat due to its unorganized structure, especially concerning belated shipping of purchased goods.
The company has identified such criticism as a potential threat to its further success and feared these opinions may create the public perception that the company traded with inauthentic, illegal, dangerous or damaged goods and that its policies were yet unripe to meet such high demand for products of interest.
Nevertheless, you could count on Piotr to overcome these adversities, which is exactly what happened when Wish grabbed the interest of various reputable brand names, like Facebook. Although the social media giant had offered Piotr $20 million to sell Context Logic, Wish's sister platform, the inventor rejected the offer without second-guessing it.
In his mind, the primary aim lay in creating the largest, most convenient, and most affordable online shopping mall in the world, targeting low-to-medium-income households!
Wish: Shopping Made Fun
Fundamentally, Wish is a platform to suit nearly every shopping purpose. Nowadays, you don't need to go outside, drive to the mall, speak to a rude salesman, or be stuck in endless waiting lines- Wish does shopping to perfection, and right from the comfort of your own home!
In a few clicks, Wish brings all products of relevance to your screen and lets you pick your finest match without a hassle.
Among the various services that Wish offers are also facilitated transactions and personalizing the overall shopping experience without relying on a simple search bar format. Moreover, the shopping platform allows sellers to list their top products and sell these directly to consumers for a no-muss-no-fuss experience.
Wish also works with payment service providers and is not in charge of stocking products, nor it manages potential returns.
Not that long after the platform launched, in 2017, Wish witnessed its most significant breakthrough, when it became the most-downloaded e-commerce application in the United States.
This degree of popularity brought Wish countless signed deals with various famous athletes, such as soccer players Neymar, Paul Pogba, Tim Howard, Gareth Bale, Robin Van Persie, Claudio Bravo and Gianluigi Buffon. Additionally, the company landed a multi-year partnership with major brand names such as NBA's Los Angeles Lakers!
Don't applause just yet, because, in 2018, Wish became the most downloaded e-commerce application worldwide!
Fundings, Revenue, & Global Recognition
Headquartered in San Francisco, Wish has also established offices in The Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark, and boasts 900 employees and counting.
From the very beginning, Wish enjoyed mass funding support, with investors looking to partake in Piotr's journey to e-commerce excellence.
In 2010, Context Logic received $1.7 million in investments and involved Yelp's Ceo Jeremy Stoppelman. The following year, Piotr and his friend Danny incorporated the pay-per-click model of advertising, driving inspiration from similar business platforms, such as Facebook.
Throughout the years, Wish scored fundings and investments from various contributors. In 2014, the company raised $50 million from Founders Fund, and a year later, they raised an additional $500 million from DST Global. In 2016 and 2017, Wish acquired $500 million from Temasek Holdings and Everbright-IDG Industrial Fund, each.
Its most recent founding took place in 2019 when the platform raised $300 million from lead investor General Atlantic.
All in all, Wish collected a revenue of over $2.1 billion.
Although Piotr is sterling clear of public influences as well as the business spotlight, Wish had gained monumental popularity that earned Piotr the top spot on the richest-men-in-Poland list.
Not an attention-seeker at heart, but a refined businessman and a true visionary, Piotr's Wish is a definite testament not just to his business talents, but also his tenacious spirit as well as his undying urge to achieve the right kind of global impact - and make shopping fun all over again!