Mable Raises $3 Million Seed Round Led by Three Top VC Firms to Build B2B E-commerce Platform for Independent Grocers; Launches Beta
Mable’s Platform Is the First to Simplify Wholesale in the Grocery and Convenience Space, Using Technology to Connect Retailers, Brands, and Distributors to Make Ordering Inventory More Efficient
Boston-based startup Mable announces a $3.1 million seed round to launch a wholesale commerce platform for small businesses in the grocery, convenience, artisanal, and health food market spaces. Venrock, Accomplice, and Founder Collective led the round, along with a handful of notable angel investors including Laurent Amouyal, co-founder of Shopkeep David Olk, and James McCann.
Mable is a mobile and web-based B2B wholesale platform that enables retailers to easily find and buy quality products from suppliers and wholesalers of all sizes. With a focus on the $641 billion grocery market, Mable’s platform connects retailers, distributors, and brands to enable more efficient product discovery, ordering, financing, and inventory management.
The concept was inspired by the first-hand buying experiences of Mable’s founder and CEO Arik Keller. After exiting tech start-ups to PayPal and Facebook, Keller took a break from technology and, in July 2018, bought a small grocery store. He quickly discovered the inefficiency of managing inventory procurement. In May 2019, Keller teamed up with co-founder and CTO Eric Carlstrom to build a web and mobile application to solve the problem.
“When I bought my store, I found modern tech solutions for nearly everything, except re-ordering inventory. The status quo for grocers is to order via phone, text, or email, which makes managing purchases from multiple distributors and brands incredibly labor-intensive,” says Keller. “We found ourselves saying, ‘If we could just order everything in one place, life would be a lot easier.’ Then it occurred to me — we should build that!”
“Some of the most successful companies start with a founder who, in his or her previous occupation, discovered a major flaw in the system. The Mable team has first-hand experience with the procurement problem facing independent stores and understands the time and cost-saving impact of their solution,” says Mike Tyrrell, a partner at Venrock. “We are inspired by the team and company’s vision to make independent retailers more competitive.”
Mable’s beta platform, which launched Sept. 15, 2019, will first focus on servicing the Northeast of the U.S. but is available to businesses across the country. It features a comprehensive marketplace of brands and distributor portfolios, providing transparency on pricing, availability, and delivery options while allowing retailers to place multiple orders through a single e-commerce and mobile platform.
- Marketplace of specialty packaged goods brands and distributor portfolios
- Detailed product information, including images, descriptions, and pricing
- Web and mobile B2B ordering application
- Data-driven insights on local trends, velocity data, and pricing