September 22, 2021 -- Convictional, the first supplier enablement platform for retailers and distributors to power drop ship, marketplace and wholesale business models in one solution, announced that it has secured $6.7 million in Series A funding, led by solo venture capitalist Lachy Groom who led Convictional’s 2019 seed round out of Y Combinator.
“If you know what EDI stands for, you'll know why Convictional needs to exist. Trillions of dollars of world trade is communicated using technology created during World War II," said Lachy Groom, an early Stripe employee who has also invested in Notion and Figma.
Convictional plans to use the funds to invest primarily in research and development in its supplier enablement platform and the growth of its network of connected suppliers and retailers.
“Retailers are often embarrassed that they force their suppliers to onboard through the obstacle course that is EDI,” said Roger Kirkness, co-founder and CEO of Convictional. “Our mission is to level the playing field by connecting suppliers and their buyers, regardless of the systems they use. Just click a button to integrate, then start trading.”
Enterprise retailers such as Staples, Equinox, Scandiborn, and Harry Rosen rely on Convictional’s infrastructure to trade with third-party suppliers. Using Convictional allows them to expand their online and in-store assortments, reduce inventory risk, and onboard new suppliers faster.
Convictional’s technology and network allows enterprise retailers to go to market with a wide range of new brands and products. Some of Convictional’s customers have launched new categories and curated their own digital B2C and B2B marketplaces.
"As a curated retailer, Convictional allowed us to unlock new categories, such as grooming, without the inventory costs. We have plans to use Convictional to onboard brands in other categories, including watches, fitness gear and apparel, and home. Their platform seamlessly facilitates the entire onboarding, integration, and transaction processes with our brand partners,” said Ian Rosen, Chief Digital Officer of Harry Rosen.
“We partnered with Convictional to add new, signature products to our stores, enabling customers to try or test products in store, make a purchase and have the vendor ship directly to them,” said Brian Coupland, SVP of Merchandising, Staples US Retail.
At the same time, Convictional paves the way for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands to enter into B2B relationships with enterprise retailers without the cost and complexity of legacy EDI.
Sandro Pugliese, International Sales & Business Development Manager of Psycho Bunny, says, “As more and more consumers turn to online shopping, the Convictional platform facilitates and automates the back-end B2B processes."
Retailers and brands have historically used Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), a pre-Internet protocol and data format, to transact with each other. EDI represents over $5 trillion worth of B2B trade in transaction volume, but is incompatible with modern sellers who use Application Programming Interface (API) based ecommerce platforms like Shopify.
Joining the round includes Claire Johnson, COO of Stripe; Scott Belsky, Chief Product Officer of Adobe; Dave Cheesewright, former CEO of Walmart International; Ram Shriram, former Board Member, Alphabet; WndrCo; Ryan Orley; Dave Eisenberg; and other leading operators.
Convictional’s co-founders, Roger Kirkness and Chris Grouchy, are both former Shopify Plus team members who helped launch Shopify’s wholesale channel. Together, they hope to democratize B2B trade and give businesses the ability to automate and integrate trade, regardless of size or technical expertise.