Retail

‘Salesforce Of Online Wholesale’ Snags $14M In Funding

If investment dollars are any indication, it appears the power of the handshake deal — at least in name — is still alive and well in the tech industry.

According to a recent article in Fortune, software maker Handshake has raised $14 million in a new round of funding led by Sozo Ventures. The company, oft referred to as the “Salesforce of Wholesale,” aims to bring business-to-business commerce into the digital age with software that enables wholesale businesses to sell online. To date, the company has raised a total of $23.5 million.

Traditionally, a big chunk of deals were done in person or via paper invoices, and a notable facet of Handshake’s business model is that it wants to keep that human touch intact. Instead of replacing in-person deals, the company is enabling them to be more powerful. The idea behind Handshake, according to Fortune, is to let those people transact on the spot, while recognizing that face-to-face relationships will always be important.

Founded in 2010 and based in New York City, the company has experienced rapid growth, expanding from small clients to larger players in wholesale, including baby stroller manufacturer Bugaboo and musical instrument maker Roland. Looking to arm those larger businesses with the enterprise tools they need, the new funding, according to Fortune, will allow Handshake to build more sophisticated eCommerce software for increasingly larger clients, putting it in competition with the likes of other digital commerce software suites, like Magento and hybris.

In recent months, investors have grown increasingly wary of startups that burn funds quickly and ultimately cannot sustain themselves. According to CEO and Cofounder Glen Coates, Handshake’s focus was crucial to raising this latest round of funding. “We think a lot about: ‘When I put a dollar in, how long does it take before a dollar comes back out?’ I don’t think you can go out to the market with a story that’s all about growing at all costs now,” Coates told Fortune.

Coates also acknowledges that, with this great new opportunity in the form of $14 million, there also comes added pressure to deliver a return to investors.

“What they say about ‘more money’ is definitely true,” Coates joked. “It’s definitely not ‘more money, less problems.’”

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