Online Shopping Price Negotiation Startup Receives $1.5 Million In Pre-seed Funding

Online shopping is set to undergo a remarkable transformation as ergo, a dynamic startup, challenges the status quo by enabling consumers and retailers to negotiate prices seamlessly. The game-changing potential of ergo has also been recognized through a substantial investment of $1.5 million in pre-seed funding from investors Anthemis and Wischoff Ventures.

The startup introduces an innovative pricing software accessible through a Shopify app, featuring a “Make an offer with ergo” button directly on product pages. This empowers consumers to propose their preferred purchase price.

Ergo’s visionary Founder and CEO, Claire Stepanek, leverages her valuable experience from her tenure with Apple’s supply chain team, where she mastered the art of price negotiations.

Recognizing the potential to streamline the buying experience and democratize the power of negotiation, Stepanek embarked on a mission to make it a reality. To support their vision, the company has successfully secured $1.5 million in pre-seed funding from esteemed investors Anthemis and Wischoff Ventures.

While haggling over prices is commonplace in in-person markets, it’s a rarity in online shopping. Ergo aims to revolutionize this paradigm by developing pricing software that empowers online retailers to efficiently clear inventory and boost profits, all without resorting to sales or discounts.

Stepanek’s inspiration for ergo originated from her role on Apple’s supply chain team, where she engaged in negotiating prices with various vendors.

Experimenting with these pricing strategies both professionally and personally, Stepanek quickly realized the effectiveness of these negotiation methods. Her car-buying experience, in particular, solidified the idea behind ergo, where she applied a simplified, authentic approach to secure a car at the desired price.


Ergo operates as a software plugin, initially launching as a Shopify app, available for download by online retailers.

The plugin introduces a button on product pages, replacing the conventional “add to cart” button with “Make an offer with ergo.” This innovative feature empowers consumers to propose their own offers. What sets ergo apart from conventional marketplaces is its streamlined process, eliminating the need for back-and-forth negotiations.

Once the consumer clicks the “make an offer” button, they input essential details, including their proposed price and the maximum wait time for the product. Based on this information, retailers can swiftly decide whether to accept or decline the offer.

Ergo is still in its early stages and remains pre-revenue. The app was previously privately listed on Shopify, and thus, the number of users and managed offers remains undisclosed.

According to Nichole Wischoff of Wischoff Ventures, ergo represents a full circle moment for retailers, offering a return to a time when bartering was the norm and allowing retailers to rekindle a “good old-fashioned barter system” that empowers their customers.

In a landscape where pricing transparency and consumer empowerment are paramount, ergo’s pricing software seeks to revolutionize the online shopping experience, offering a brighter future for both consumers and retailers.

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