US investment firm Tiger Global has invested $28 million in online wholesale marketplace start-up TradeSquare.
In under two years since its inception, TradeSquare has become the largest wholesale platform in the country, with 1000 suppliers, and more than 10,000 registered buyers.
Prior to the investment in TradeSquare, Tiger Global invested in the B2C start-up, Catch, whose former CEO Nati Harpaz and his business partner Einat Sukenik are TradeSquare’s co-founders. The opportunity they saw in B2B wholesale was efficiency for the Australian wholesaling industry, in creating an online B2B platform.
According to Sukenik, “TradeSquare is a key player in making Australia's economy fairer and healthier by empowering the small businesses to easily discover and order wholesale products.”
“Yesterday a gift and homeware shop in Dubbo placed an order from eleven wholesalers in one cart, with one invoice and 60-day credit terms. This is a game-changer, especially with COVID still restricting retail business activity.”
Sunek said that the organisation’s mission is to “reinvent wholesale”, especially as small businesses navigate the challenges presented by COVID.
“The old way of bringing wholesalers and retailers together was trade shows or overseas buying trips, but these disappeared during COVID."
“You can think of TradeSquare as a 24/7 digital trade show – allowing retailers to easily discover and order wholesale products, and wholesalers access to retailers Australia-wide. Our initial focus is gift and homewares, but ultimately the market is much broader.”
The pandemic has resulted in widespread supply chain disruption, causing stock replenishment issues for many small businesses. TradeSquare’s model does not rely on overseas products, alleviating this issue for retailers.
“‘Retailer first’ is a key to our success,” said Sukenik.
“We’ve created an open channel with retailers and wholesalers to ensure that we build a solution that matters to both.”
According to co-founder Harpaz, Tiger Global’s investment will allow the company to scale, as well as grow its use of smart technology.
“Our wholesalers are manufacturers, makers and distributors,” Harpaz said.
“That’s what they do and what they know. We actively market our wholesalers under the one umbrella so that they can focus on what they do best.”