The online marketplaces of startups Yesler and MaterialsXchange are out to remake how businesses buy and sell lumber and other building materials.

Yesler, founded last October as a developer of marketplace commerce software, raised $3.3 million earlier this month to continue building out its marketplace for buying and selling lumber and other building materials.

Seattle-based Yesler has built out its software in three components—Yesler Analytics, Buyer’s Network and Marketplace—which enables both buyers and sellers to view critical market information and connect online to initiate and complete purchase transactions. While sellers can use the analytics software to view supply and demand information to plan lumber yard stocking and replenishment, buyers use the network software to post their orders and invite sellers to offer a price and track communications with them. Buyers use the marketplace component to manage transactions and communications with one or more sellers.


Yesler CEO Matt Meyers, left, with chief technology officer Jeff Lubetkin.

“Buyers can vary in credit quality or prompt payment, and sellers can vary in reliability of production, shipping, or product quality,” said CEO Matt Meyers in a review posted to the company’s blog page on its website, “Yesler allows buyers and sellers to recognize and reward these relationships with specific pricing, payment terms, and confidentiality as desired by participants.”

Yesler’s total funding to date is $5.15 million. Its latest round of $3.3 million comes from Tech Square Ventures, PSL Ventures, SeaChange Fund and Yesler says it’s looking into handling materials other than wood, but for now is focusing on lumber, engineered lumber and panel products such as plywood.


MaterialsXchange builds an online future

When Yesler launched last October, however, it wasn’t the only company with its eye on building an online marketplace for building materials.


Mike Wisnefski, CEO, MaterialsXchange

Chicago-based MaterialsXchange also launched last fall and completed its first transaction as an e-marketplace for buying and selling raw materials used in the construction industry. MaterialsXchange is focusing for now on many types of lumber products, including Oriented Strand Board, European Spruce lumber and Southern Yellow Pine lumber, the company says.

MaterialsXchange asserts that, before its launch, the wood products market had “no efficient digital solution for managing the supply chain of the more than 3 million truckloads of North American softwood lumber and structural panels produced each year.” But like Yesler, MaterialsXchange says it is transforming how wood products will be traded.


Mike Wisnefski, CEO of MaterialsXchange, says “the MX platform, with its combination of transparent market data, automated back-office functionality, and accessibility, provides market participants with meaningful gains of efficiency and cost savings.”

Some of MaterialsXchange’s customers say the marketplace has changed how they do business.

Thomas Mende, president and CEO, Binderholz Timber

“MaterialsXchange’s platform is a natural fit for our company,” said Thomas Mende, president and CEO of wood supplier Binderholz Timber Inc., in a statement MaterialsXchange released after launching the marketplace. “By selling our lumber through MaterialsXchange we get instant access to a large, diverse group of buyers, while simultaneously lowering our marketing costs.”


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