When I asked last summer which companies were poised to take advantage of the coming B2B e-commerce boom, Joor was one of the first ones mentioned. The site, founded in 2010 by Mona Bijoor, connects more than 500 designers like Thakoon and Rag & Bone to more than 30,000 buyers like Neiman Marcus and Shopbop (that’s three times more buyers than it had six months ago).
Joor’s platform facilitated $117 million worth of volume last year, giving the 30-person company $1.2 million in revenue. This year, the platform is on track to triple that with $350 million worth of transactions.
These are transactions that were done in person, with a piece of paper that was later scanned into a PDF, and then the email chains and faxes (yes, faxes) began. Even forward-thinking e-commerce companies like Zappos and Piper Lime buy wholesale in this antiquated way. Joor simply puts all of the buying, selling, changing and negotiating into one platform.
Bijoor says her background as both a buyer and seller in the apparel world gave her insights into the unique needs of a wholesale apparel marketplace. The deals are like a conversation, she says. There’s a ton of back-and-forth before any order is finalized. Joor captures all of that in its app, eliminating the need for “shop girls” to manually input each order. “We’re becoming the de facto system for brands and wholesalers,” she says.
The company is expanding as quickly as possible, as new competitors focused on accessories or regions like Europe have sprung up. JOOR opened an office in Milan with plans to go to Japan, Korea, London and Paris next.
The difference between the new competition and JOOR, says Bijoor, is that those companies offer a SaaS-based platform where sellers pay a flat fee each month to host their goods. JOOR is a marketplace which only makes money when a transaction happens. Smaller designers like it because there is no fixed cost in case nothing sells.
The company spends around $500 to $600 to acquire new brands on the platform. Since retailers (the buyers) have promoted Joor by word of mouth, the cost to acquire them is around $15. Those costs are both going down. With 30,000 buyers using Joor as their buying management system, many of them are requesting that brands use the platform to streamline their buying process.
Joor raised $3.25 million from Battery Ventures, Lerer Ventures (a PandoDaily investor), Great Oaks Venture Capital, Landis Capital, and Forerunner Ventures in September to fund its expansion.