From the founders of Magento, Oro Inc. is out to make a splash in business-to-business e-commerce as big as the one Magento made in retail e-commerce.

Yoav Kutner, CEO, Oro Inc.

“We’re investing in what B2B companies need, and in what’s been missing in the B2B e-commerce world,” says Oro co-founder and CEO Yoav Kutner, who also co-founded Magento and served as its chief technology officer before he and his partners sold Magento in 2011.

Oro launched today OroCommerce as its first e-commerce software product, complementing and directly integrating with the OroCRM software it launched after forming as a company in 2012. Yoav asserts that Oro’s open-source software, like Magento’s, was designed with a high level of flexibility that lets users customize it to their needs.

‘Out-of-the-box’ B2B features

But while Magento was designed for retailers, he notes, he and his Oro team designed Oro’s software for B2B companies. That means it has “out-of-the-box” built-in B2B features and functionality like the ability to set up multiple customer profiles with customized product pricing for each customer account, and the ability for sales reps to use mobile devices to view customer account activity in Oro’s CRM software while helping customers place e-commerce orders on the same device—without having to do any custom software development, Kutner says.


That kind of built-in functionality attracted Noah Wheeler, financial controller for footwear manufacturer Samuel Hubbard Shoe Co., who shares responsibility for overseeing his company’s e-commerce technology and strategy with his CEO, Bruce Katz, who is also the founder and former head of manufacturer Rockport Shoes. Samuel Hubbard, which launched as a company in 2014, is already selling its footwear through some 150 retailers, including chains Nordstrom and Dillard’s, and it sees B2B e-commerce as a way to help continue that growth by more efficiently processing orders from merchants, Wheeler says.

Samuel Hubbard launched a consumer-facing e-commerce site last year with Magento Inc. software. But with most of its business in B2B sales to retailers, it set out last year to find the right e-commerce technology that would replace a cumbersome system that required its sales staff to manually enter retailers’ orders into Hubbard’s enterprise resource planning, or ERP, system for updating financial and inventory records.

‘Granular customization’

After checking several technology provides, Hubbard went with Oro for the unusual focus it offered on B2B operations, Wheeler says. “We saw a demo of OroCommerce, and it wowed me with its out-of-box features and the ability to do a very granular amount of customization without new software development,” he says. Hubbard was also impressed with the direct integration of OroCommerce with OroCRM, he adds.

Wheeler says Hubbard recently signed up to deploy Oro’s technology and expects to have it up and running in April. “Our plan is to build out an e-commerce site as digitally rich as our B2C site, but tailored for wholesale customers,” he says.


In addition to the built-in features like multiple versions of pricing for each customer based on contract terms, and forms that let customers quickly re-order items in bulk, Wheeler says Hubbard is looking forward to using built-in tools for marketing and inventory management. For example, the integration of OroCommerce with OroCRM as well as with Hubbard’s MailChimp e-mail marketing system, will simplify the development of segmented email marketing campaigns based on the known buying patterns of individual customers. For retailers who have ordered stocks of Hubbard’s blue Navy Nubuck Harvard Free casual men’s shoes, for example, the manufacturer may email an offer for the special blue polish retailers can offer their own customers.

On the drawing board

Wheeler says Hubbard also looks forward to using Oro’s technology platform to customize additional special applications. One on the drawing boards is a mobile app that retailers could use to scan their existing inventory, send the scanned data to Hubbard, which would then send back a recommended revised mix of inventory known to produce higher sales.

Like OroCRM software, OroCommerce is open-source technology, which lets the users access the core software code to customize it. Oro’s software is available either as on-premise licensed software or through a software-as-a-service, or SaaS, model. SaaS lets companies access a vendor’s software through a web browser, without having to run the software on its own servers.

Oro says its OroCommerce Enterprise Edition software has an annual fee starting at $35,000, with an implementation fee starting at about $20,000. Oro charges the same fees for its licensed and SaaS versions, Kutner says. It also offers a free Community Edition, which lacks some of Enterprise Edition’s features like the ability to run multiple websites and handle more than 1 million customer records.


Jary Carter, co-founder and chief revenue officer, says Oro has more than 60,000 users of its software, including both editions. Although Oro doesn’t break out the number of users of each edition, Carter notes that Oro has Enterprise Edition customers in more than a dozen countries and expects to add 100 Enterprise customers and thousands of Community users this year.

Los Angeles-based Oro is backed financially by investors including Highland Capital Europe, which led a $12 million funding round last year.

Tony Zappala, a partner at Highland Capital Europe, says his firm considered investing in other e-commerce technology companies but chose Oro for its focus on the technology challenges facing companies investing in B2B e-commerce. He says Oro stood out for its “clarity of vision of the challenges and opportunities facing companies in B2B e-commerce,” including the need to grow with a flexible, scalable platform designed for B2B e-commerce and integration with a CRM system.

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