Invoice management is an “unsexy” part of businesses, TradeGecko CEO Cameron Priest recently told Forbes in an interview. But even without a flashy angle to the market, the startup has received significant financial backing, and revealed this week that it is using that support to introduce a new level of software support to small businesses that often cannot adequately manage their stock.
The company said it has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding, led by investors NSI Ventures and Jungle Ventures. The company began in 2012 to enter the ever-evolving B2B Software-as-a-Service industry, a market that curiously lacks sufficient software solutions for small businesses to manage inventory despite a plethora of tools to manage accounting and finances.
According to Priest, TradeGecko aims to be the Amazon of inventory management, offering the same user experience to businesses’ backend operations. It may not be as exciting as Amazon’s B2C online commerce business, but it is highly lucrative, with $7.2 trillion worth of B2B commerce transactions seen in 2014.
“That’s a staggering number for something very unsexy,” Priest said. “And I say unsexy because B2B commerce or ‘wholesale’ is still stuck in 2001 – Excel spreadsheets, paper purchase orders, faxes and clumsy expensive software. TradeGecko is aiming to make wholesale as easy as shopping on Amazon.”
The tool integrates into businesses’ existing Quickbooks, Xero, Bigcommerce or other existing eCommerce and shipping solutions. Reports said that the firm, which launched in Singapore, aims to offer ease-of-use to businesses and provide a reliable platform through which business owners can procure their necessary products. Reports note that the process is especially complex in today’s omnichannel world, where many suppliers sell products at the mail order, wholesale and retail levels.
But demand for an inventory management solution is only expected to rise. According to a survey released by TradeGecko last month, sellers are prioritizing digital sales this year, and among the businesses surveyed, the majority said that online B2B marketplaces were the main driver of new business in 2014.