Since launching in 2011, NuOrder Inc., a provider of e-commerce technology that connects brands and retailers, has seen $16 billion in gross merchandise sales transacted on its platform. But in a display of how fast its business has recently surged, half of that volume occurred in the past year.
It’s a sign of the times that sellers and buyers of all types of consumer brands—from apparel and health-and-wellness products to consumer electronics and sporting goods—are moving full-speed into online commerce to do business with one another, says Olivia Skuza, NuOrder’s co-founder and co-CEO. “Our vision for solving the challenges brands and wholesale buyers experience has been realized,” she says. “The wholesale industry is finally ready for a market disruption.”
Investors in NuOrder agree, judging by the company’s latest round of funding. NuOrder announced today it has reaped $15 million in a Series C round, bringing its running total to $40 million.
“In the last decade, digital transformation has taken place in business-to-consumer channels, while the B2B buying process has continued to remain antiquated—until now,” says Justin Nadile, vice president of NewSpring Capital, an investment firm that says it focuses on funding “transformative companies.” NewSpring was joined in the latest funding round by Upfront Ventures and Argentum.
NuOrder will use the funding to “continue acceleration innovation in our product,” Skuza says. “We plan to heavily invest in building out the product and engineering teams to drive better collaboration between brands and retailers in a digital landscape to greatly improve the buying and selling experience.” The company will scale up its marketing, sales and, in particular, its customer service teams, she adds.
Shifting from paper to digital catalogs
NuOrder provides an e-commerce portal platform where its 1,000 client brand vendors can sell their products through branded online catalogs and mobile apps to a universe of some 435,000 participating buyers at retailers. Since 2011, it has facilitated 3.25 million orders, with more than 212 products purchased through its trading platform, the company says.
In November, NuOrder and Nordstrom Inc. said the upscale retailer would use the NuOrder platform to collaborate with its suppliers with online product catalogs. “Introducing NuOrder to our ways of working has made a notable impact on our business, including reinforcing key customer relationships and enabling us to grow our wholesale business,” says Ricky Green, director of global wholesale and licensing director at Nordstrom supplier and apparel brand Ted Baker London.
Among the existing features NuOrder provides sellers are “real-time” online reports for tracking sales, production forecasts and top sellers among products and merchants.
Features designed for retailers include the ability to browse available brands by product category, price or trade show exhibits.
Hestra, a glove brand manufactured by Sweden-based Martin Magnusson & Co. for skiers and other winter sports enthusiasts, says it signed on with NuOrder to digitize its paper catalogs for the more than 400 styles of gloves it sells to more than 5,500 retailers in 26 countries. Hestra also integrated its NuOrder online catalogs with its NetSuite enterprise resource planning system for updating such things as inventory and sales records. Using the NuOrder platform has led to a 50% increase in sales, including a 15% increase in re-orders, Dino Dardano, president of Hestra USA, says in a case study posted to NuOrder’s website.
NuOrder, whose services are free to retailers, charges brands an annual fee based on the volume of their wholesale business.
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