New York-based Handshake Corp. announced today it has received $14 million in Series B funding.
The company will use the capital infusion to further develop its B2B mobile and web commerce software to handle the business needs of such enterprise customers as Handshake client Starkey Hearing Technologies, a Minnesota-based manufacturer of hearing aids that generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue, Handshake CEO Glen Coates says. “We’re going to greatly expand our web product, engineer our organization and expand our mobile app to become much more of an enterprise platform,” Coates says.
Handshake offers several software applications for B2B e-commerce, including mobile apps designed for either sales reps or customers to place online orders, and the Handshake Direct e-commerce software that Handshake clients can use to provide their customers with a self-service e-commerce site.
Since Handshake launched its Handshake Direct e-commerce software in 2015, more than 33,000 individual buyers have placed an order through the e-commerce software, the company says. Handshake says it hopes to expand use of Handshake Direct by developing its data integration, business operational logic and workflow capabilities to attract larger, enterprise customers.
“Enterprise customers typically save customer data in their back-end ERP system,” Coates says. “We want Handshake to bring in that data onto the platform and onto the mobile app so sales reps can use it in the field with customers where it’s needed.” Companies use enterprise resource planning, or ERP systems, to manage inventory, financial records and customer relationship management systems as well as other business needs.
Handshake also plans to expand its technology platform to handle more complex business operations. For example, if a beverage distributor runs a promotion offering its customers two free coolers with an order valued at $1 million or more, Handshake’s e-commerce software will automatically recognize that deal and send the coolers to the customer, Coates says.
Handshake also plans to add customized work-order management processes to its web and mobile platforms.
In addition, the company plans to develop ordering functionality for particular industries that use Handshake’s products. A number of consumer product goods manufacturers and suppliers in the food and beverage industry, for example, recently deployed Handshake for their B2B commerce platform, Coates says. He adds that Handshake will also use its new funding to provide B2B buyers in these industries with shelf-side ordering features in tablets and smartphones. Companies use shelf-side ordering tools to plan how they’ll stock store shelves with particular brands and SKUs.
“B2B commerce is literally how every product gets on every shelf in every store,” says Phil Wickham, General Partner, Sozo Ventures, which led today’s funding round. “Through our experience, we recognized that the problem Handshake is solving is big and one that even the largest companies are struggling with. said
He adds that Handshake also offers mobile ordering features businesses want. “Due to the recent explosion in mobile, the market opportunity can no longer be ignored,” he says. “We invested in Handshake because we believe they have the right team and the mobile-first platform vision that will solve this problem for the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors.”
Also participating in the current funding are prior Handshake investors Emergence Capital, SoftTech VC, Boldstart Ventures, MHS Capital, Point Nine, and Primary Venture Partners. To date, Handshake has raised $23.5 million in funding.
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