NuOrder, the Los Angeles-based business-to-business e-commerce platform, today disclosed a $45 million funding round led by Natalie Massenet and Nick Brown of Imaginary Ventures and Brighton Park Capital.
The investment signals the acceleration of digital buying and selling over the past 12 months. The funding is expected to support NuOrder’s continued growth and expansion plans within focus markets and enable the company to advance in its goal of reinventing commerce, finance, payments, data and discovery between brands and retailers within the global multitrillion-dollar b-to-b marketplace.
Since its 2011 launch, NuOrder has raised $85 million in funding, and the company’s valuation has increased three times from its last round, which was in December 2018.
Massenet, cofounder and managing partner of Imaginary Ventures and founder of Net-a-porter, will join NuOrder as a board member and strategic partner, charged with driving European expansion and growth of the fashion and luxury retail markets. Mark Dzialga, managing partner of Brighton Park Capital, will also take a seat on the NuOrder board and contribute his expertise to helping companies execute against their global ambitions and within payments and marketplace.
“I have seen firsthand how slowly the fashion and retail industry adapts to change without a tipping point, and this past year has been another critical inflection point for many,” said Massenet. “There has been much focus over the last few decades on the consumer end of retail, but little advancement in the ways the industry operates behind the scenes. NuOrder has built the much needed technology to power wholesale, buying, merchandising and now payments, providing businesses with digital tools to work efficiently and profitably in a rapidly changing consumer and retail landscape.”
Backstage at Chanel RTW Fall 2021
Massenet joined Everlane’s board last month, and Imaginary’s first fund invested in the San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer company.
Dzialga, chief executive officer and managing partner of Brighton Park, said, “NuOrder has digitally transformed the wholesale buying and selling process for leading global brands and retailers. As the consumer landscape continues to evolve, this investment reflects Brighton Park’s strong belief in NuOrder’s talented team, and differentiated platform revolutionizing retail merchandising, payments and visualization. We look forward to leveraging our investment expertise to support the company’s long-term growth and success.
Through its cutting-edge technology and digital market tools including Virtual Showroom and a new Payments offering, NuOrder is focused on creating greater efficiencies and revenue for its clients and the industry. NuOrder has experienced 125 percent growth over the past 12 months driven by the effects of the pandemic and the need for businesses to digitize and streamline their processes, with 30 percent of gross merchandise volume coming from Europe.
NuOrder has partnered with retailers such as Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s to conduct all their buying and selling exclusively through NuOrder, and with new partners coming on board in the U.S. and Europe, buying power is expected to expand. The platform connects more than 3,000 brands and more than 500,000 retailers and processes more than $40 billion in gross merchandise volume.
“It’s a pivotal time for the industry and more important than ever for NuOrder to deliver innovation to brands and retailers globally to help them succeed,” said Olivia Skuza, cofounder and co-CEO of NuOrder. “The new capital allows us to accelerate our vision with key investments in product and engineering and we feel fortunate to have such a great set of partners championing and supporting our growth.”
Heath Wells, cofounder and co-CEO of NuOrder, added, “At a time when the b-to-b commerce landscape is evolving rapidly, we remain focused and are in a position to execute on our core mission of setting the global standard for commerce, discovery and payments and delivering the industry with a best-in-class solution through a single platform.”
Asked how they were going to use the new funding, the cofounders said the bulk of the investment will go toward product innovation. “Being fearless with our technology vision has been the backbone of our success to date and we’ll continue to focus on this,” said Skuza. “We’re also looking forward to evolving our Virtual Selling and Virtual Showroom technology including 3D and immersive shoppable content, along with expanding Merchandising, Collaborative Buying and AI-driven Assortment Optimization. We’ll be focused on expanding into new and growing markets as well as growing our Customer Success teams globally to deliver best experience and support for our customers,” she said.
Discussing the next phase of growth, the cofounders explained that NuOrder started its journey focusing on the brand side of the platform (phase one). “As we grew and were able to deliver the best-in-class sales tools, the market continued to evolve and we focused on delivering solutions for retailers (phase two). Now that we have such a large ecosystem of brands and retailers and driving transformation of how both sides do business, we are in our third phase where our focus is on the network and the collaborative experience between the brand and retailer. We are betting on a central global platform for brands and retailers to conduct all their b-to-b e-commerce. A platform vision and a two-sided network unlocks significant value by allowing NuOrder to provide data to drive new opportunities and insights and much needed finance solutions to completely revolutionize how business is done,” said Skuza.
As reported in January, NuOrder developed a new Payments solution, expanding its offerings to encompass the entire buying journey. This backend system allows NuOrder to keep the relationship with every buyer and retailer rather than handing them over to a partner. With NuOrder Payments, vendors can choose to support click-to-purchase and pay later experiences within their wholesale platform. This can provide greater flexibility for buyers and reduce the chance of cancellations or delays, allowing brands to manage both immediate and prebook orders all in one place. Buyers are able to store their preferred payment methods within a digital wallet, for easy access across the NuOrder ecosystem.
The NuOrder vision deck. courtesy shot.
In launching Payments, Wells said at the time, “We want to deliver the best experience to both buyers and sellers at every stage of the wholesale journey. Buyers will experience the ease of having a global NuOrder wallet that they can manage themselves and that can be used across all brands accepting credit card payments on the platform. Buyers can authorize or remove credit cards and select which brands can use them.”
Last May, Informa Markets, the owner of Coterie, MAGIC, and other trade shows, entered into a long-term partnership with NuOrder. In December, SwimShow and NuOrder teamed to launch a virtual swim trade show for an eight-week buying period that started Jan. 11 and runs through March 11.
In addition, the CFDA’s Runway360 digital platform, which was launched during September’s New York Fashion Week, is powered in partnership with NuOrder.
As reported, in December Imaginary Ventures amassed $160 million for its second fund, more than double the size of its initial fund in 2018, with the intention to expand its investment portfolio. “While we’ve continued to invest in the beauty, wellness, lifestyle, food and beverage, and fashion sectors, we’re also looking at a lot of new retail platforms, services and tools that are innovating on the consumer experience and transforming how brands operate and reach their customers,” said Brown at the time. Brown and Massenet founded Imaginary Ventures in 2018 to invest in the tech-enabled brands and platforms changing the way people live.
In 2020, Imaginary Ventures invested in cosmetics company Kosas; CBD tonic company Cann; mobile shopping app Foxtrot; Goodfair, an online thrift shop, and Bread, a new hair care brand aimed at curly or natural hair. It also invested in Nuggs, a brand of meatless “chicken” nuggets, and Pepper, an online food order system for wholesale and consumers, as well as Ami Cole, a new beauty brand.
Greenwich, Conn.-based Brighton Park Capital’s investments specialize in software, information services, technology-enabled business services and healthcare. Its investments include Indegene, Rocket Reach, Paradox, Glassbox, AppViewX and Relatient.
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Imaginary Ventures’ Second Fund of $160M for New Crop of Upstarts
NuOrder Enters B-to-b Payments Market
NuOrder Surveys Brands on Future Outlook of Wholesale Business
Informa Teams With NuOrder to Digitalize Trade Show Experience
Nordstrom Partners With NuOrder to Expedite the Buying
CFDA Unfurls Runway360, a Digital Platform Serving as Centralized Fashion Hub
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