May 28, 2020 — Today, we are thrilled to announce a $6 million Series A funding round led by Benchmark, with additional participation from Mango Capital, DAXN, PrimeSet, SV Angel, and NVInvestments. Additionally, Benchmark General Partner Eric Vishria will join Commerce Layer’s Board of Directors. Benchmark has helped grow and influence companies such as eBay, Uber, Twitter, and Instagram, to name just a few, and Eric is bringing extensive experience in enterprise platforms, along with a shared vision to (in his words) make Commerce Layer "the new standard".
This new funding along with the support of our board and advisors will ultimately help accelerate our mission of creating the commerce API for global brands.
Why We Need a Commerce API
It’s been a very interesting time to be an Italian-based e-commerce startup. The peak of COVID-19 was hitting Italy as we were closing our funding, and the world of retail is being upended. While it’s been a time of so much uncertainty, it has also reinforced our commitment to what we’re building.
Today more than ever before, brands need to find alternative modes to reach their customers. As brick-and-mortar retail stores are closed, brands big and small are finding that they need to meet customers where they are, whether it’s through desktop, mobile, chat apps, or beyond. On top of that, modern business is increasingly global, which comes with a new set of complexities to serve customers in various currencies, regions, and cultures around the world.
Traditional ecommerce platforms weren’t built for the way commerce runs today. They rely on a monolithic architecture that was designed for desktop, and they lack the underlying flexibility to evolve with new modes of shopping and scale up as a business grows. These “starter frameworks” are an inconvenience for developers, project managers, and marketing departments that find it difficult to create a truly customizable and unique experience for consumers. As a result, many global brands end up building their commerce platforms in-house from the ground up.
Commerce Layer was created to solve this problem, and become the global, scalable and adaptable solution that today’s brands need:
Global — Traditional commerce platforms typically work until companies begin to sell abroad or need to scale business rules. Commerce Layer acts as what I like to call a Commerce Delivery Network — just like global websites use Content Delivery Networks to distribute content globally with ease, our Commerce Delivery Network distributes SKUs, prices, and inventory data through a fast, global API. It also handles all the unique logistics that come with global business: it works in any currency, supports distributed inventory models, manages global shipping, allows for market-specific business models, and more.
Scalable — Many traditional commerce platforms suffer from lag as online traffic increases, and require additional costs to prioritize speed. Lag time is unacceptable for the customer experience and can result in lost sales. Commerce Layer is already supporting more than 1M requests a day, serving its APIs with <5ms response times, and can scale up infinitely to support the volumes of any major brand.
Adaptable — When you think ahead to all the different channels the world is going to be shopping through in the future — not just desktop and mobile, but chat apps, wearable devices, voice interfaces, and more — it’s easy to see that old systems built for desktop will struggle to keep up. Being API-first means our platform serves a brand’s needs for the long-haul. When new modes of shopping emerge, we’re able to support them with the same technology they are adopting today, enabling clients to stay on the cutting edge without rearchitecting their back-end.
Today, Commerce Layer is serving dozens of clients around the world, ranging from Uashmama, Richard Ginori, Chilly's Bottles to several Fortune 100 companies that we're onboarding soon.
Looking Ahead to What’s Next
Our new round of funding is a moment that we wanted to share because of what it means for you, our clients. We fully understand that your commerce platform is one of the most business-critical elements of your architecture. The Series A will provide the resources needed to grow Commerce Layer’s team, scale our infrastructure even more, and ultimately provide customers with the highest flexibility, reliability, performance, and security in the market. This funding will also allow us to accelerate our product roadmap. Some of the planned updates include: subscription models, returns management, product rentals, and many new integrations that will come out-of-the-box.
And lastly, given the fortunate position we’re in, we want to do our small part to support businesses that are hurting right now, so we will be giving our product away for free to a limited number of small businesses to help them through this time. We will prioritize independently owned family businesses that deliver their products locally. To apply, follow this link and tell us your story.
This is just the beginning of a new chapter and we couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come. We’re thankful to Eric and our other investors and advisors, including Robin Vasan from Mango Capital, Barbara Rybka — formerly SVP Digital Worldwide at Gucci, Mathias Biilmann Christensen & Christian Bach — founders of Netlify who coined the term Jamstack. It’s with their help that we’re able to keep growing to best serve you.
— Filippo Conforti