ZMags sizzles: Expansion, hiring and $25M round planned

E-commerce software firm ZMags doubled its space in the South Boston Innovation District this week and plans to nearly double its global staff by the end of the year, including roughly 40 new hires in Boston, CEO Michael Schreck said in an interview.

The company also plans this spring to raise its next equity round, of $25 million, with plans to use some of the funding for “strategic M&A,” Schreck said.

ZMags has grown to serve 3,000 customers, which include Disney, Kenneth Cole and Express, and the company ranked 70th on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 last year.

ZMags’ technology aims to help retailers give customers a more engaging web shopping experience — with an emphasis on mobile shopping on the iPad. It’s a “serious tool for marketers” that nonetheless has “B2C sizzle,” Schreck said.

Schreck said Kenneth Cole and Express created interactive catalog collections using the software-as-a-service during the holidays, targeted at giving shoppers the sort of inspiration they might get while shopping in a store (and leading to more impulse purchases).

The type of shopping that’s done on, by contrast, tends to be directed at getting a few specific items and doesn’t lead to high profit margins, he said. ZMags’ goal is to “reinvent how profitable shopping for brands is done online,” Schreck said.

As part of that, the company this week took a second 11,000-square-foot floor at its building, 321 Summer St., giving the company about 22,000 square feet in total in the building.

ZMags employs 110 people in total, and expects to grow that to 200 by the end of the year, Schreck said. The current staff includes 50 in Boston, 50 in Denmark (where the company was founded in 2005, and has its main development office) and the rest in London.

At least half of the new hires this year are expected to be in Boston, Schreck said — including professional services, analytics and sales.

ZMags last month closed a $7 million in a debt funding round from backers including longtime investor OpenView Venture Partners    of Boston (which was behind bringing the company to Boston in 2008).

Schreck joined the company as CEO last May, returning to Massachusetts after several years in California running Corrective Solutions as well as his personal investment company, Equity Pacific Group.

Schreck had been among the founders of celebrated Massachusetts company UPromise and of Cambridge venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners, and spent several years as president of m-Qube.