NEW YORK, July 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Bulletin, a retail technology company that makes it easy for brands to expand into brick-and-mortar sales, today announced it has closed $7 million in Series A funding led by Foundation Capital with participation from Kleiner Perkins, Trail Mix Ventures and Afore Capital.
Since launching in 2015, Bulletin has helped hundreds of brands access physical retail space for the first time, unlocking one of the most powerful commerce channels at their disposal. To-date, Bulletin has met brand demand by opening its own physical retail stores. The company is now evolving its service and will use this new capital to help brands optimize and increase their distribution across retail stores nationwide. The funding will also help refine and expand Bulletin's custom assortment-as-a-service program, which leverages data science and data-driven insights to help retailers make smarter buying decisions. With this new financing, Bulletin plans to launch a platform-enabled solution for brands looking for new stockists, and retailers looking to seamlessly source new inventory.
While it has never been easier to start a digital brand - platforms like Etsy, Shopify and Squarespace mean businesses can launch online with minimal friction - accessing physical shelf space is still a cumbersome, pricey and time-consuming hurdle for most brands. To connect with buyers, brands have to pay thousands for tradeshow booths, hire showrooms and pay substantial commissions to wholesale reps.
According to Jonathan Ehrlich, partner at Foundation Capital, these options are outdated and unnecessary given the efficiency and effectiveness of platform-based solutions. "As digital marketing becomes more expensive and convoluted, brands are looking for a more agile, affordable way to access physical retail space to generate sales and build brand awareness," he explains. "With the right blend of data science and human merchandising, this type of platform not only offers increased distribution for these brands but the right distribution to increase and maintain sales."
Bulletin has seen this explosive demand first-hand. By mid-2018, Bulletin had amassed a waitlist of over 3,000 brands looking to access shelf space. Unable to accommodate such a high volume of brands in its own spaces, Bulletin began building a marketplace that matches the most modern, relevant brands with buyers looking to source new product for their stores. This matchmaking is driven by various data inputs like the store's historical sales data, social media data and current best-sellers. In many cases, satisfied retailers have turned to Bulletin for even more support, ranging from visual merchandising guidance to fixture suggestions and pricing strategies. With this capital infusion from Foundation Capital, Bulletin is poised to further productize these services and become a trusted retail partner to brands and buyers alike.
"With this evolution and new financing, we are now able to serve the millions of digitally native brands that are struggling to find affordable, sustainable solutions for omni-channel growth," explains CEO Alana Branston. "In testing this marketplace model last year, we were absolutely blown away by the early traction and demand from both retailers and brands. It's been really gratifying to see how this new product has increased retailers' sell-through while giving brands the brick-and-mortar exposure they need to engage their existing d2c customers, acquire new ones and learn about product performance across various stores and environments."
The recent fundraise has already resulted in a string of key hires and new advisors hailing from companies like Stitch Fix that offer a wealth of expertise in retail and data science. Most notably, Bulletin has hired Nick Reavill as chief technology officer, who served as engineering director at Stitch Fix for four years, and welcomed Lisa Bougie as a formal advisor. Lisa is known widely within the retail community for running the women's business at Stitch Fix as general manager. Prior to this role, she served as chief merchandising officer of Stitch Fix and held key global merchandising and retail leadership roles at Nike for a decade.
"I have observed Bulletin and its founders from the company's inception. Their staunchly loyal brand community, the founders' commitment to scale and track record disrupting retail distribution make this an exciting investment for Foundation Capital."
The company will be publicly launching its platform later this summer. To apply as a retailer or a brand, please visit www.bulletin.co.
About Bulletin: Bulletin is building the go-to wholesale management platform for digitally native brands. Since launching in 2015, Bulletin has helped hundreds of brands access physical retail space for the very first time, unlocking one of the most powerful commerce channels at their disposal. Their new wholesale marketplace allows brands to more seamlessly access new distribution channels while helping retailers curate data-driven assortments that are built to sell.
About Foundation Capital: At Foundation Capital our guiding star is building significant businesses of lasting value. Founded in 1995, we have over $3 billion in cumulative capital commitments, 27 IPOs and 80-plus acquisitions to our name. Among our portfolio of companies: we've helped Netflix revolutionize media distribution and consumption, Lending Club change the way money is lent and borrowed, Chegg remove the obstacles to education and Sunrun reinvent the residential clean energy market. Our partners are former operators and entrepreneurs. They've successfully walked the path of the founder and now help other entrepreneurs on their own journeys to create great, enduring companies.
Media Contact: Rachel Hodes, [email protected]
Bulletin founders Alana Branston, CEO, and Ali Kriegsman, COO.
SOURCE Bulletin Inc.