Abound, an online wholesale marketplace founded in 2019, has seen its growth surge in the past year as it helped thousands of retailers connect with thousands of merchandise suppliers after traditional trade shows closed because of the pandemic, says co-founder and CEO Bill Shope.
Since the start of 2020, Abound—located on the web at HelloAbound.com—has introduced more than 180,000 products from manufacturers and craftspeople and rung up a 20-fold increase in monthly sales volume, Shope says. And since many retail merchandise trade shows shut down last spring because of the pandemic, Abound has connected suppliers on the marketplace to more than 10,000 retailers, he adds.
To help it continue growing internationally amid strong demand, Abound this week said it raised $22.9 million in a Series A financing round led by Left Lane Capital. “This funding will allow us to continue to attract and support the most talented small business owners across North America and Europe,” Shope says.
Other investors include RiverPark Ventures, All Iron Ventures and Red Antler. Abound says it will use the funds to “accelerate efforts to further international expansion, grow the team, and enhance Abound’s technology offerings with the release of industry-first features.”
Based in New York, Abound “is dedicated to discovering and supporting the most creative and innovative brands” across the United States and the United Kingdom, and “providing independent retailers with the support and products they need to compete with the brick-and-mortar and ecommerce behemoths,” the company says.
Clicking the ‘Not on Amazon’ filter
In addition, Abound caters to retailers looking to sell merchandise not typically found on Amazon.com. “The majority of Abound’s retailers use the ‘Not on Amazon’ filter to specifically find brands that are not selling to consumers via Amazon,” a spokeswoman for Abound says. Products featured recently on Abound included Gleeful Peacock Jewelry, Valley Fudge and Candy, The Naked Bee lotions, and Glamsquad cosmetics; these products had minimum order values ranging from $100 to $250. Abound grants 60-day net payment terms for qualified buyers to make it “easier to try new products,” it says.
Harley Miller, managing partner at Left Lane Capital, says his personal experience in retailing led him to see the value in the new wholesale marketplace.
“My family has been in independent retail for the last 20 years,” he says. “Growing up, I attended many industry events, so I have long understood how under-optimized the wholesale buying and selling experience is. With the cancellation of most major trade shows in 2020 and 2021, emerging brands and independent retailers have been seeking new distribution channels to support their business ambitions.”
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