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ChannelEngine, a platform that helps brands manage their products and inventory across multiple third-party marketplaces, has raised $50 million in a series B round of funding.
The raise comes as countless retailers have transitioned to the marketplace model, including the likes of Macys which recently expanded its online properties to support third-party merchants, while Bed Bath & Beyond and Decathlon have adopted a similar marketplace strategy lately. Elsewhere, established regional ecommerce players such as Zalando and Bol.com, and even social networks like Instagram and TikTok, all now serve to connect buyers with sellers from around the world.
And it’s against that backdrop that ChannelEngine is making its mark, by helping companies such as Staples, Bosch, and JBL manage sales across myriad marketplaces — from eBay, Walmart, and Amazon, through Wish, Zalando, Bol.com, and beyond.
“We’re in the midst of a profound shift in ecommerce as brands are increasingly selling directly to consumers via open online marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart and Zalando,” ChannelEngine CEO and founder Jorrit Steinz said.
It’s important to understand the scale of the problem that ChannelEngine is looking to solve. Managing multiple marketplaces individually is a resource-intensive endeavor, one that could otherwise involve many repetitive actions across different channels, such as managing stock, or tracking and tweaking prices to remain competitive. The bigger the merchant, the bigger the job, and that is where ChannelEngine enters the mix.
“The number one problem that ChannelEngine solves is the complexity of connecting, updating, and managing product sales across many sales channels both locally and globally,” Steinz explained. “There is always a gap to bridge between internal systems of a seller towards what is needed for a marketplace or ecommerce store to actually be able to connect and manage them all effectively.”
At a top level, companies use ChannelEngine to create a single, unified channel to list and sell products, manage stock, update assets, and more. Everything is synchronized across the board, so if a customer buys the last of a specific product through Amazon, it will also show up as being out-of-stock on eBay and Walmart. On top of that, ChannelEngine offers tools such as automated repricing, so that if a competitor’s stock runs out, ChannelEngine can raise its merchant customer’s prices immediately and capitalize on product scarcity.
ChannelEngine supports various integrations out the box, from ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and Magento, to enterprise software spanning warehouse management systems (WMS), product information management (PIM), and enterprise resource planning.
With all their data sources connected, the merchant can then access more than 200 marketplaces, ecommerce platforms, and other sales channels.
At the heart of the ChannelEngine product is data and analytics, which give merchants insights into all their marketplaces — this includes who is selling their products (i.e., resellers), what products are most active on those marketplaces, average shipping times, and more.
“Based on this, a brand owner can take control, not only of what they sell, but over their resellers as well,” Steinz said. “On top of that, ChannelEngine collects and unifies many data points coming from all the different sales channels, ranging from sales performance, orders, returns and associated fees, to full pricing insights and dynamics on their products including pricing and availability of their direct competition [in] those marketplaces.”
All this data is shown within ChannelEngine dashboards or dedicated ChannelEngine App, while it can also be displayed in custom business intelligence through Google Data Studio and Power BI.
Founded out of the Netherlands in 2015, ChannelEngine had previously raised around $7 million, and with another $50 million in the bank, the company will double down on its mission to become “the world’s largest ecommerce network and operating platform.”
Indeed, since its series A raise just 14 months ago, ChannelEngine claims its revenue has more than doubled, while its internal headcount has tripled across offices in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.
ChannelEngine’s series B round was led by Atomico, with participation from General Catalyst, Inkef Capital, and Airbridge Equity Partners.
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