Sydney, Jan 19: Online wholesale marketplace start-up TradeSquare has raised AU$28 million from US investment firm Tiger Global.
Tiger Global’s previous investments in Australia’s ecommerce industry include the B2C startup Catch. As online marketplaces continue to revolutionise retail across the world, from Amazon to Alibaba, TradeSquare believes that the next phase of digital transformation is B2B wholesale.
In 2020, former Catch CEO Nati Harpaz and his business partner, entrepreneur Einat Sukenik, spotted the opportunity to create an online B2B platform, whose business model would create a more efficient Australian wholesaling industry for the future, while overcoming COVID challenges for retailers.
Not yet two years old, TradeSquare has already attracted 1,000 suppliers with more than 150,000 SKU’s, and more than 10,000 registered buyers, making it the largest wholesale platform in Australia.
“This investment will allow us to scale in a very significant way and build upon our rapidly growing business proposition and model, our use of smart technology, and the strong executive team that we have put together,” TradeSquare co-founder Nati Harpaz said.
“We are excited to have Tiger Global join us as we continue our mission of reinventing wholesale in Australia.”
“The old way of bringing wholesalers and retailers together was trade shows or overseas buying trips, but these disappeared during COVID,” Einat Sukenik, TradeSquare co-founder and CEO said.
“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.
“We are hugely excited by the opportunities that lie ahead,” she said.
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.
Recently 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.
Convenience, data and community are three key factors contributing to growth in independent retail.
The funds will allow us to keep the focus on creating an exceptional B2B experience both for Australia’s retailers and wholesalers through smart technology.
TradeSquare was a saviour to many retail businesses during the first two COVID years.
Its model overcame the obstacles caused by the cessation of trade fairs, buyers being unable to travel interstate or overseas to source stock and the inevitability of delays in deliveries of stock from overseas.
As COVID restrictions eased, TradeSquare’s value to these retailers became even greater.
While the “great recovery” began for large city retailers, smaller outlying retailers had formidable challenges to overcome after two years of extraordinary hardship.
One of these was replenishing stock.
TradeSquare’s model alleviated these problems because it doesn’t rely on overseas products.
Another challenge for retailers was cash flow.
Financial reserves were at an all-time low.
Unlike other wholesalers and distributors, TradeSquare doesn’t demand upfront payments, which were and still are prohibitive for all retailers, as well as credit terms for wholesalers.
“Our terms have been developed to answer the challenges that small businesses in Australia have been facing and they will continue to evolve in the coming years,” Sukenik said.
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