Foundation Raises $3 Million to Digitize the Archaic Wholesale Business
Our Founder & CEO, Shiv Agarwal, knows a thing or two about doing business online. As Founder and CEO of “headless” eCommerce platform Fabric, Agarwal’s last company went on to raise nearly $300M, reaching “Unicorn” status early last year. Now he’s back with a new online platform, this time targeting the vast layer of suppliers and wholesalers that make and distribute the products that wind up on retailers’ shelves.
“I learned a ton at Fabric about building products to make life better for branded retailers,” says Agarwal, “but I also saw how antiquated the tools and workflows were all along the supply chain that feeds the retail business, and I became obsessed with fixing that problem.”
Foundation is targeting the booming $14.86 trillion B2B commerce industry, with B2B eCommerce expected to hit $2 trillion by 2023. Today, the current commerce landscape between manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers remains slow and outdated. Foundation's mission is to revolutionize this space by seamlessly connecting the entire commerce chain, enabling manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers to effortlessly share product, pricing, and inventory information.
Buyers often struggle with cumbersome PDF product catalogs and convoluted Excel order forms. Foundation's initial goal is to streamline the eCommerce experience for manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers, providing a user-friendly platform for their buyers.
Foundation is specifically designed for the unique needs of the B2B market, with current focus on the wholesale business between brands, distributors, and retailers. While other commerce platforms like Shopify offer B2B solutions, they provide limited features to manage complex B2B use cases. For these D2C platforms, wholesale B2B is an afterthought; for us, it is our core driving purpose. Brands can also sell through wholesale marketplaces such as Faire. Although marketplaces provide a great venue to attract new customers, they can significantly reduce profit margins and increase competition for the brand.
Early Foundation customer, Danielle Volin, a wholesale distributor of specialty products in the pets vertical, jumped at the chance to try the new platform. “I’ve built a strong book of business in my industry with old-fashioned pen and paper, but it was getting harder and harder to keep up with growing desire from stores to be able to order online. Foundation is exactly what I needed to take better care of my customers and unlock the growth potential in my business while giving my customers an easy outlet to view and order all in one place.”
Foundation has raised a total of $3 million from Pacific Northwest seed funds Founders’ Co-op, Ascend VC, Fortson VC and Bay Area-based Upside VC. The company is currently onboarding new wholesaler customers via their website, http://www.getfoundation.com.
Read more here: Foundation, a wholesale e-commerce startup led by former Staples exec, lands $3M