Everstores, an Open Store-style D2C Shopify aggregator out of Europe, emerges from stealth with €18 million

A wave of Amazon-merchant aggregator startups, floating close to $15 billion in funding, have rushed in, rolled up, and rushed out of the e-commerce market in the last several years. Now, a new tide, and new take on the model, appears to be rising. Today, a Berlin startup called Everstores — which seeks out, buys and consolidates Shopify-based direct-to-consumer businesses, says that it has raised €18 million ($17.5 million at today’s rates) in funding, money that it will be using to continue investing in its data science and operational tools; and to buy up and consolidate D2C brands.

In stealth, it has picked up three businesses, and — according to co-CEO Kristoffer Herskind (who co-founded the business with two others, Carlos Lopez as co-CTO and CTO Kirill Martynov) — some 100 million data points from the further 500 Shopify-powered D2C brands that have signed up as potential acquisition candidates.

Now, armed with €8 million in equity and €10 million debt, the plan is to boost that number with a more public launch. Earlybird Venture Capital is leading the equity portion, while Viola Credit is leading the debit part, which we understand is structured as an ‘accordion’ that can expand up to €50 million. Pre-Seed investor Picus Capital, founder angels and KKR & Goldman Sachs also participated in the funding. The company has now raised €20 million in total, including an earlier pre-seed round.

If Everstores’ business model sounds a little familiar, that’s because it’s not only similar to the earlier aggregator model, but nearly identical to the newest variation on the idea, which is also being pursued by OpenStores, a U.S. startup that launched in 2021, which itself announced a hefty tranche of funding only last week that catapulted its valuation to nearly $1 billion.

OpenStore’s rapid growth speaks of competition, but also validation for others in the same field like Everstores. There are thousands of businesses building Shopify-based storefronts, in aggregate approaching $200 million in GMV annually (Shopify’s GMV last quarter was $46.9 million), and many of them have hit the wall when it comes to scaling.

The pitch here is that Everstores (or OpenStore, or others) can provide capital to the owners of those D2C brands, and apply economies of scale to all the different, and potentially costly, aspects of running an e-commerce business — supply chains and logistics; big data analytics; personalization and other technology — to do what the smaller, individual stores would have found challenging if not impossible to do on their own.

Herskind’s reference to how much data his company has already amassed is notable for a couple of reasons. First, it speaks to the company’s core thesis of why this business model is better than the aggregation play of yesterday typified by the likes of Thrasio, SellerX and others, which is based picking up Amazon-based businesses: the data that one can get from Shopify businesses is by its nature a lot more complete, and therefore, better.

“It’s all about the data,” he said in an interview. “On Shopify, merchants have insights to their customers because they own the customers. On Amazon, you have product and order data, but you don’t really know who your customers are. That is the fundamental distinction. And without knowing who they are, knowing the real cost of acquiring customers is hard. That also makes it hard to evaluate these businesses, and subsequently to scale them.”

And he believes there are other market-specific reasons for why independent online businesses are better candidates for aggregation and consolidation than Amazon-based merchants.

For one, Amazon is already doing a strong job in areas like supply chain management and logistics, which leaves little room for improvement. “It would be hard for us to do something to improve operationally,” he said.

On the other hand, taking a series of Shopify-based businesses, a lot of them are still using a mix of services to meet marketing, supply chain, inventory, and logistics needs. Horsing estimated that for B2C e-commerce businesses, between 20% and 30% of their costs are related to marketing in e-commerce and B2C, so there is an opportunity to create more efficiencies there.

The other interesting point to note about Everstores’ data is just how much of it it already has — 100 million data points currently — despite only having picked up three businesses so far.

Herskind said that since it opened up its platform as a private beta, some 500 businesses have logged on and registered their information to start providing data to Everstores to form part of the latter’s evaluation of the businesses. This speaks to the demand among them in looking for an exit, but surprisingly how open these companies seem to be to the idea of sharing data about how they are doing.

Herskind notes that even in the cases (most of them, as it happens) where Everstores is not interested enough to enter into an M&A process, it suggests keeping the data streams open so that it can continue to assess the situation.

This opens the door potentially too to the company building other products using that, which brings to mind companies like Xeneta, which has also turned third-party crowdsourced data into a thriving business in the world of shipping pricing.

It’s worth watching whether Shopify merchants are really all keen to sell up, though, or whether that’s just a hangover from the previous incarnation of roll-up plays. Herskind said that the market got so heated for FBA-based merchants that companies that might have initially been considered at 2-3 times earnings (Ebitda), heavy competition at the peak of the market drove those multiples to sales at 8-9 times earnings. Have aggregators learned their lesson from this, or will the same inflated pattern be repeated, is the question both for merchants and aggregators themselves.

“That [inflation] also made the business model break apart,” Herskind noted.

One thing very much in common between old and new incarnations of aggregators is their insistence that they are bringing a lot of technology to bear in their otherwise pretty obvious financial plays.

“We approached everything from first principles and with a fundamental belief that technology could drive better outcomes across the board. We’re excited about working at the frontier of this space, and we’re bringing together the smartest engineers and data scientists to crack these open-ended problems with us,” said Martynov in a statement.

“We believe D2C is a fundamentally attractive opportunity where structural issues in the space can be solved meaningfully through data and software. Everstores’ tech platform allows for both identification of the highest-potential brands and full value capture of this potential through their OS. We’re proud to support Everstores’ founders on their mission to unlock the D2C asset class at scale through their leading tech platform,” noted Tim Rehder, a partner at Earlybird, in a statement.

Everstores, an Open Store-style D2C Shopify aggregator out of Europe, emerges from stealth with €18 million by Ingrid Lunden originally published on TechCrunch

E-commerce aggregator Una Brands gets $30M to acquire more APAC brands

Una Brands, an e-commerce aggregator focused on brands in the Asia-Pacific region, announced the first close of its Series B round at $30 million today. The funding was led by White Star Capital and Alpha JWC Ventures.

Headquartered in Singapore, Una Brands has a presence in Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, China and the United States, and over 200 employees. It launched in 2021 with $40 million in funding, and has now raised a total of about $100 million.

Over the last year, Una Brands has acquired more than 20 e-commerce brands in six countries, including ergonomic furniture vendors ErgoTune and EverDesk+. After taking over operations, Una Brands expanded those brands into Australia and grew revenue by over 40% in less than a year. In total, Una Brands says it now has annualized revenue of more than $50 million and is expected to achieve group profitability by the end of this year.

While many other e-commerce roll-up companies (like Thrasio) focus on brands that sell on Amazon, Una Brands covers multiple e-commerce platforms to reflect how fragmented the industry is in Asia. For example, it looks for brands on Shopify, Shopee, Lazada and Tokopedia, in addition to Amazon.

Una Brands will use its new funding on more acquisitions in categories like home and living, mother and baby, and beauty and personal care. The capital will also be used to further the development of its proprietary technology for expanding e-commerce brands across multiple channels. Its tech stack includes tools for brand management, marketing, supply chain and accounting, and process automation and advanced analytics.

E-commerce aggregator Una Brands gets $30M to acquire more APAC brands by Catherine Shu originally published on TechCrunch

Google revamps shopping with 3D images, shoppable looks, buying guides, and more personalization

At its Search On event this afternoon, Google announced a number of shopping-related changes and new features across areas that include visual shopping, personalization and buying with the help of trusted reviews. The additions aim to help the company better attract online consumers to shop on Google, instead of starting their searches directly on Amazon — as has become the norm for many online shoppers today.

Of significant concern, Amazon has been steadily eating into Google’s core search advertising business over the years and is projected to capture 14.6% of the U.S. digital ad revenue market share by 2023, data from Insider Intelligence indicates. Google’s share meanwhile, is expected to drop to 24.1% by that time, down from the 31.6% share it had in 2019, the report said.

To combat this threat, Google has been investing heavily into its Google Shopping services, including by making listings free for merchants then integrating those free listings into Google Search results. Now, the search and ads giant has grown its shopping graph to 35 billion product listings — a figure that’s increased by nearly 10 billion over the past year, the company notes.

One of the new ways Google hopes to better compete is to make shopping on Google feel more fun for consumers than if they simply ran a product search on Amazon’s site.

On this front, the company is launching a new feature called “Shop the Look” in the U.S. which will be discoverable as part of the now more visual shopping experience on Google. This feature will position a shoppable display of products alongside lifestyle imagery, guides, and other tools in your search results. It can also be triggered by typing the word “shop” ahead of your query, like “shop bomber jackets,” for instance.

Image Credits: Google

To “shop the look,” users will be able to view the product they had searched for — like a jacket — along with other items that complete the outfit, which can also be shopped from the same tool, similar to features previously launched with Google Lens.

They’ll also be able to see trending products that are popular right now within the same category of the item they searched for from across different brands and designers. (Google defines trending as those products that meet a certain threshold for an increase in searches and user interactions over the past week, it says). These features will arrive in the U.S. this fall.

To make shopping listings themselves more compelling, Google will soon begin to pilot test a 3D shopping feature for shoes, to follow up on its existing support for 3D home goods — a change that Google claims delivered increased engagement. Users interacted with 3D images almost 50% more than static images, the company said.

Initially, the 3D imagery will be tested with a handful of retail partners to start before scaling up. To support this, the company developed a way to automate 3D asset creation. Via machine learning improvements, Google can now use just a handful of product photos to build the 3D image. This new model relies on a neural radiance field technology, a type of neural network also known as NeRF, which can create novel views of 3D scenes using 2D images, Google explains.

Initially, the pilot will include a handful of merchants like Van’s and Skechers, but Google expects to add more over time, including smaller sellers.

“While some merchants have this kind of 3D imagery available, for many others — especially the smaller merchants — creating these types of 3D assets can be really expensive and time-consuming,” said Lilian Rincon, Senior Director of Product for Shopping at Google. “We really think has the potential to change the game for small merchants and we’re excited to get it out,” she added.

Image Credits: Google

Another new feature is designed to help people make more complex shopping decisions that typically require a lot of research.

Typically, consumers will read a variety of sources to make a decision about a more high-value product, including product reviews, news, online articles, recommendation sites, customer reviews, and more. To simplify this process, Google has introduced a new “Buying Guide” which will aggregate the most helpful resources from across a range of trusted sources, including Google user reviews, articles, product reviews and more. This feature has launched in the U.S. but will expand to include more insight categories soon.

Image Credits: Google

In addition, Google will add a new tool called “Page Insights” to the Google app in the U.S. in the months ahead. This will allow consumers to learn more about the products on a website, including their pros and cons and star rating. They can also opt-in to receive price drop updates on the items they’re tracking.

However, one of the biggest changes coming to Google Shopping is the addition of opt-in personalization, arriving in the U.S. later this year.

While companies like Meta and Snap have struggled with the impact of Apple’s privacy changes (App Tracking Transparency) that allowed users to opt-out of tracking, limiting sites’ ability to show them personalized ads, Google’s response to the privacy crackdown is to allow consumers to directly choose to personalize their shopping experience with intentional clicks.

To do so, consumers can tap buttons to direct Google to remember the types of categories they want to shop — like “Women’s Department” instead of the “Men’s Department,” for example — or even tap to choose favorite brands to ensure those are highlighted in their future Google Shopping search results. The company says the idea was prompted by its user research, as consumers told the company they were frustrated with seeing irrelevant search results.

Google says the user is in control of these settings and can turn them on or off at any time.

“We’ve taken a lot of time to do this very carefully because we absolutely want to make sure that people feel like they’re in control…if you, at any point, don’t want to share this information with Google — if you want to turn it off…you can do that,” says Rincon.

Image Credits: Google

Google is also adding new shopping filters that appear on pages as you search for various products, which will now adapt to search trends. That is, you might see “wide leg” or “bootcut” appear when shopping for jeans right now, because those styles are currently popular across Google.com searches. These “dynamic filters” are live now available in the U.S., Japan, and India, and will arrive in more regions over time.

Finally, the Google mobile app will highlight suggested styles based on your past shopping searches and what others have been shopping for on Google. You can tap on these suggestions and see where to buy the products via Google Lens.

Image Credits: Google

Combined, Google believes these changes will help to make shopping on its platform easier and, in some cases, more fun for consumers. But the larger reality here is that Google needs to find a way to keep users from diverting their searches to other sites, like Amazon, as doing so impacts its ability to sell ads and its bottom line.

read more about Google Search On 2022 on TechCrunch

Google revamps shopping with 3D images, shoppable looks, buying guides, and more personalization by Sarah Perez originally published on TechCrunch

Stockly raises another $12 million to sell out-of-stock items via other retailers

French startup Stockly is raising a $12 million Series A round (€12 million) from Eurazeo, Daphni and several business angels. The company pools together the inventory of several e-commerce websites. When a retailer is out-of-stock on a popular item, they can still accept the order and process the order through a different retailer’s inventory.

This startup is a network play. As Stockly grows, its product becomes more interesting because there are more partner retailers on the platform. Some of Stockly’s customers include Galeries Lafayette, Jonak, Go Sport and Decathlon.

If there are multiple suppliers that can fulfill an order, Stockly automatically picks a retailer based on several criteria, such as price, distance and a quality score. Stockly also tells its partners to use neutral packaging so that everything remains transparent for the end customer.

The main technical challenge is that Stockly has to synchronize millions of items at any point in time. It integrates with existing e-commerce product feeds and it has to reflect Stockly’s information in real time.

For instance, Stockly can’t say that it can find a specific product at a specific price if there’s some delay and no one actually has this product in its inventory anymore. But if it works as expected, it’s an easy sell as it improves user experience and everybody makes some revenue along the way — the e-commerce retailer, the product supplier and Stockly.

With today’s funding round, the company plans to reach 50 employees and sign more retailers. Eurazeo and Daphni had already invested in Stockly last year so they’re both doubling down on their investment.

Stockly raises another $12 million to sell out-of-stock items via other retailers by Romain Dillet originally published on TechCrunch

A new Instagram test removes shopping tab from the home screen

Meta is making it harder to find the Shop tab on Instagram with its latest test. In the new test, the Shop tab has been removed from the app’s Home Screen and is instead hidden underneath Settings. The Shop tab used to be on the bottom navigation bar.

Some users first reported the change on Twitter, noting that the Notifications tab replaced the Shop tab. However, TechCrunch found that the Messages tab had taken its place instead, indicating there may be multiple tests underway.

A Meta spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the company is testing different versions.

“As part of our continued work to simplify your Instagram experience, we are testing a few changes to the main navigation bar at the bottom of the app with a small number of people,” they told us.

Social media has become a valuable revenue stream for online sellers. Instagram launched Shops in 2020, giving users more ways to buy products within the app. The Shop tab was then moved to the Home Screen later that year, helping creators and small businesses promote their merchandise easier. In 2021, Instagram introduced ads on the Shop tab.

Taking away the Shop tab from the main navigation bar could hurt some online stores that use Instagram Shops as a source of income. While it’s not removed from the app completely, it’s a lot harder to find. Instagram has other ways to shop throughout the app, however, whether that be in the feed, stories, or reels.

It appears that Instagram is becoming less aggressive with its e-commerce feature. Instagram notified staff in an internal memo earlier this month that the company would be testing a simpler version of the feature, The Information reported. The reason for this was due to a shift in “company priorities,” the memo said.

It’s possible that the Shop tab wasn’t as successful as Instagram hoped. Some users who noticed the test were happy to see the shopping feature be removed from their Home Screens, we noticed.

Meta tested other features this month, including a new monetization feature for creators, a nudity filter, and a repost feature.

A new Instagram test removes shopping tab from the home screen by Lauren Forristal originally published on TechCrunch

Gently’s shopping aggregator aims to remove friction of locating secondhand apparel

Samuel Spitz is a lover of secondhand clothing but found he was spending hours searching across dozens of resale sites to find certain items and coming up short.

“The market is very fragmented with all of the sites,” Spitz told TechCrunch. “And once I would get on a site, it was really hard to find what I wanted, plus you only see a fraction of what is actually there. Oftentimes what I was looking for wouldn’t be available right away, in my specific size or in my target price. I just keep searching, searching, searching every week, spending hours doing it because I love to find the deals.”

That’s when he got the idea of joining all of those secondhand listings together under one umbrella. In March 2021, he joined with fellow Rice University graduate Kunai Rai to start Gently, formerly Wearloom, in what Spitz referred to as “Amazon for secondhand,” which enables users to shop across sites, including Poshmark, Depop and eBay, from one place.

The company’s initial “technology” was a form that people could fill out that says the clothes they are looking for, and Spitz and Rai would manually compile the search results and respond via email. By the end of the first month, the pair was serving 500 to 600 people every day and it grew into the thousands in the second month.

When all of those manual searches became too much to keep up with, they started building the central platform for secondhand shopping online that Gently is today.

The company, now serving tens of thousands of users every day, partners with sites like eBay, ThredUp, Vestiaire Collective, Rebag, Grailed, GOAT, StockX and TheLuxuryCloset so that users can search, filter and get alerts from secondhand clothing sites. Gently makes a percentage of sales that it drives to those sites.

Gently secondhand apparel

Gently’s secondhand apparel marketplace Image Credits: Gently

“It’s similar to how Kayak operates for travel,” Spitz said. “We also bring in new customers that may have never shopped with them before.”

In May, ThredUP reported in its 2022 Resale Report that the global secondhand apparel market was expected to grow 127% by 2026, which is three times faster than the overall global apparel market. In the U.S. alone, the secondhand market saw “record growth” of 32% in 2021 and was forecasted to more than double in the next four years to be valued at $82 billion.

In addition to those already listed, there are tons of marketplaces and startups working in this space, including Olive, Archive, Curtsy, Rebag and Treet, which all grabbed some venture capital funding in the past two years. Spitz considers his closest competitors to be Lyst and ShopStyle, which is a Rakuten brand.

Today was Gently’s turn to announce its new capital infusion of $2 million in pre-seed money in a round that included over 20 investors like Jason Calacanis’s Launch, Bloom Tech’s Austen Allred, Shutterstock’s Jon Oringer, RXBar’s Peter Rahal, Dorm Room Fund and V1.VC.

Spitz expects to grow the number of everyday users to 1 million by 2024. He intends to deploy the new capital into technology development to improve search, launch SMS functionality and create a sizing function so users only have to input their size once. The company is also hiring additional people to join the six-person workforce and to expand from fashion into other categories, including furniture. He’s also eyeing a Series A in 2023.

“The reason most people don’t shop secondhand online is because it is super time-consuming and has a lot of friction,” he added. “We can help those companies drive more sales and get more people shopping.”

Gently’s shopping aggregator aims to remove friction of locating secondhand apparel by Christine Hall originally published on TechCrunch

What the CHIPS and Science Act means for the future of the semiconductor industry

This year is proving to be momentous for U.S. semiconductor manufacturing. During a global chip shortage and record inflation, U.S. President Biden signed into effect the CHIPS and Science Act, the greatest boon to U.S. semiconductor manufacturing in history, with $52 billion in subsidies for chip manufacturers to build fabrication plants in the U.S.

The CHIPS Act seems like a green light for domestic manufacturing. However, a presidential executive order (Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity) published earlier in the year may be a stumbling block for semiconductor design shops eager to serve national security projects.

Rolled out several months before the CHIPS Act was signed, this executive order defines parameters that will force U.S.-based software companies to change long-established development and design processes if they want to comply with federal regulations regarding information sharing between the government and the private sector.

Let’s take a look at how these two measures relate, what they mean for semiconductor companies, and why the highs and lows of American semiconductor manufacturing boil down to one thing: Security.

With most of today’s manufacturing happening overseas, the DoD has had major challenges executing its national security-related projects.

The CHIPS Act

The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 provides $52 billion in subsidies for chip manufacturers to build fabrication plants in the U.S. To put that into perspective, consider that currently only 12% of all semiconductor chips are made in the U.S.

This Act comes amidst a global economic downturn, with lawmakers hoping that American-made chips will solve security and supply chain issues. In short, this is something the U.S. needs to reassert its historical influence on semiconductor manufacturing.

One of the biggest considerations, and benefits, for domestic-made semiconductors is national security. Recent geopolitical instability has caused concern over potential IP leakage and theft. For the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), it is imperative to have a secure and trusted ecosystem for the design and manufacture of semiconductors.

But with most of today’s manufacturing happening overseas, the DoD has had major challenges executing its national security-related projects.

What the CHIPS and Science Act means for the future of the semiconductor industry by Ram Iyer originally published on TechCrunch

Dame Products expands sexual wellness product line following $7M raise

Sexual wellness company Dame Products is targeting audiences at a new price point after raising $7 million in new Series A funding.

The New York–based company launches the Dip vibrator on October 12, which it describes as “an unintimidating, inclusive entry point to pleasure for people who are in the early stages of their sexual wellness journey.” Dip is priced at $49, which is about $50 less than similar Dame products.

Dame was founded in 2014 by CEO Alexandra Fine, who initially wanted to be a sex therapist. She kicked off the company with $575,000 from an Indiegogo campaign and turned Dame into a profitable business that was bootstrapped until December 2020. That was when Fine raised $4 million to expand the team and product line.

Fine told TechCrunch that Dame is known for its products aimed at “innovating for sexual wellness through real people.” The company offers about 30 different items, from the traditional vibrators to gummies to serums.

“About 40% of our products are not vibrators, and we have been able to expand through some tried-and-true processes, tweaked for the product type; then we work with consumers to make something they think is good,” Fine added. “The new funding enables us to continue to expand our product line with Dip, especially our replenishables, do more product innovation and add to our content and community.”

Since the seed round, the company launched several new products, including gummies; settled with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority to run ads on the subway; and went into Sephora and started its Clinical Board focused on sexual health. In addition to direct-to-consumer and Sephora, Dame is carried by other retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Free People.

Meanwhile, Dame has doubled revenue, customers and employees each year for the past two years, Fine said. With the sexual wellness market expected to reach $125.1 billion by 2026, Fine wants to continue growing faster and stronger, so Dame closed on this new round of funding, a $7 million Series A, earlier this month.

The investment is led by Amboy Street Ventures with participation from Listen Ventures, Flybridge, Echo and Forest Road Company. Dame has now raised a total of $13 million.

Carli Sapir, founding partner of Amboy Street Ventures, told TechCrunch the firm’s thesis is sexual health and women’s health and invests in companies like Dame that are out to destigmatize both of those spaces. We’ve seen other companies doing this as well, including Cake and Emjoy.

“We are seeing the stigma, overall, shift away, especially as mainstream retail has opened its doors to Dame,” Sapir added. “There has been an explosion of startups coming into this space and growing, largely due to the hurdles that Dame has taken down for the rest of the industry.”

Next up, Fine is focused on investing in customer retention, educational content via Dame’s Clinical Board and furthering the company’s retail presence.

“It’s most important to be authentic, ourselves and do what feels good to us,” she said. “We are trying to not get so caught up with what everyone else is doing. We don’t shy away from believing that pleasure is healthy.”

Dame Products expands sexual wellness product line following $7M raise by Christine Hall originally published on TechCrunch

Retail tech startup Swiftly valued at $1B after bagging another $100M

Swiftly Systems entered unicorn territory after announcing today that it grabbed another round of $100 million, this time in a Series C. The new funding was led by BRV Capital Management.

If you’re feeling some déjà vu, you would be right: this is the second $100 million the retail technology company has raised in the past six months — and in a tough fundraising market, too. We covered Swiftly’s $100 million Series B back in March.

Much of the shopping technology focuses on e-commerce, but Swiftly’s technology taps into that online shopping experience to make shopping at a brick-and-mortar store just as engaging and easy. It also provides analytics and advertising, so that those stores can compete against e-commerce retailers using their operational strength without being disadvantaged by an aging or non-existing technology platform.

Earlier this year, we reported Swiftly was being used by hundreds of consumer brands in nearly 10,000 store locations, which accounted for more than $30 billion in gross merchandise volume.

To target the 200,000 brick-and-mortar food retailers in the U.S., the company went after additional capital that Sean Turner, chief technology officer at Swiftly, said via email will enable it to ensure that retailers “have the digital platforms necessary to both service their customers and gain new customers, as well as capitalize on the opportunity to gain their market share of the retail media revenues.”

“The speed and scale of the tools that are being deployed by the largest retailers requires a deep commitment and investment to democratize that technology to brick-and-mortar retailers worldwide,” Turner added. “To remain relevant, brick-and-mortar retailers need to natively boost their digital presence and lean into providing true omnichannel experiences for customers.”

Retail tech startup Swiftly valued at $1B after bagging another $100M by Christine Hall originally published on TechCrunch

Bainbridge Growth wants e-commerce brands to stop sales guessing game

Bainbridge Growth, a Boston-based software startup providing data, analytics and financial modeling for e-commerce companies, inked $4 million in seed funding.

Ben Tregoe and Austin Gardner-Smith started the company in January 2021 after meeting at Nanigans, an advertising automation software company.

Tregoe, CEO, told TechCrunch that while helping brands like Casper, Peloton and Warby Parker understand how to do more effective Facebook advertising, they realized they were building big data systems and modeling revenue on a per customer basis. That got them thinking about what else they could do with the data.

“We started talking to a lot of founders and kept hearing the same thing — everybody was struggling with financial planning, forecasting and trying to figure out what their true lifetime value of customers was,” he added.

Bainbridge started with a financial model and added analytics to help the financial model make better assumptions and then a data system. The company collects data from places like Shopify, QuickBooks and Google Analytics and gives each customer its own data warehouse backed up by managed data pipelines.

Bainbridge Growth e-commerce sales

Bainbridge Growth’s e-commerce sales dashboard. Image Credits: Bainbridge Growth

The company also built a dashboard so customers, like Geologie, Branch Furniture and Mad Rabbit, can track progress, show planned value and then actual value in real time.

Bainbridge targets customers that sell between $5 million to $100 million each year. And as e-commerce sales in the U.S. continue to trend upward toward $1 trillion by 2023, knowing where a brand stands will be even more important, Tregoe said.

“We help companies see their gross margins, their contribution margins and variable cost,” he said. “Now they can see why their fulfillment costs were so out of line. For one customer, we saw they were getting overcharged by their shipping partner. That fix got them $350,000 back in one quarter.”

The new investment closed August 31 and was led by Las Olas and Vinyl VC with participation from Bling Capital and Industry Ventures. The company has now raised $6.4 million in total, including an unannounced pre-seed round in March 2021 led by Bling Capital and Industry Ventures.

“The customer reference calls were the best I had ever heard and it’s why I wrote my biggest check to date,” said TJ Mahony, founder and partner at Vinyl VC, in a statement.

Tregoe says the company has six employees and intends to use the new funding to add to that in the areas of engineering, sales and marketing and customer success.

And though Bainbridge is still in the early stages, he said the company has 18 customers and is “well on our way to $1 million in annual recurring revenue, which would be 10x year over year.”

Bainbridge Growth wants e-commerce brands to stop sales guessing game by Christine Hall originally published on TechCrunch