Fabric Inc., a startup with a so-called headless e-commerce platform designed to streamline retailers’ technology operations, today announced that it has raised a $ 140 million funding round.
The Series C investment, which was led by SoftBank Group Corp., values Seattle-based Fabric at about $ 1.5 billion.
Alongside lead investor SoftBank, the funding round included the participation of Forerunner Ventures and Glynn Capital as well as existing Fabric investors Redpoint Ventures, Norwest Ventures and Stripes. The round comes less than a year after the startup closed a $ 100 million Series B investment led by Stripes last July and a $ 43 million Series A round last February.
The large retailers for which Fabric built its platform often sell their products through multiple channels. An electronics retailer, for example, might make its products available to customers through its website, a mobile app and third party e-commerce marketplaces.
Companies often have to manage each of the sales channels they use separately. If a retailer wishes to update a product listing, it usually has to separately implement the update on its website, mobile app and the e-commerce marketplaces through which it offers its merchandise. Many other operational tasks also involve duplicate work.
Fabric’s headless e-commerce platform allows retailers to centrally perform operational tasks across all their sales channels, thereby significantly reducing duplicate work. A change in product pricing, for example, can be applied to both a company’s website and mobile app at once. The platform comprises multiple modules that each focus on easing a different aspect of a retailer’s operations.
One set of features provided by Fabric focuses on helping companies manage product information. Another set of features enables a retailer’s logistics team to track inventory levels, predict future product availability and find opportunities to reduce fulfillment costs. Fabric also provides software capabilities for managing a long list of other operational tasks including payment processing.
The ability to manage multiple online sales channels centrally is only one of the benefits that Fabric promises to customers. Another key selling point of the startup’s platform is that its software capabilities are provided as a collection of modular services. According to Fabric, a retailer can use all its services or only some of them, mixing and matching them with software products from other companies as necessary.
The startup argues that its modular approach gives it an edge over competing e-commerce platforms such as Shopify.
Many e-commerce technology providers deliver their software features as part of one integrated product. As a result, there is no easy way for retailers to replace one of the product’s capabilities, for example the inventory tracking module, if an inventory tracking tool from another software provider proves more suitable. The fact that Fabric delivers its platform as a collection of modular services makes it easier to mix and match its features with software from other suppliers, the startup says.
Fabric is not limiting its focus to operational tasks such as inventory tracking alone. As part of its feature set, the startup offers a collection of tools that retailers can use to design new online storefronts. Fabric is promising a reduction of up to several weeks in development times.
The $ 140 million funding round Fabric announced today follows a year in which its revenue increased by 450%, although the startup did not share absolute numbers. The startup will use the funding to expand into more markets and accelerate product development initiatives.
“We truly appreciate the vote of confidence that Softbank and our other world-class investors have in our vision, our execution and our experienced team,” said Fabric Chief Executive Officer Faisal Masud. “This round will allow us to increase the velocity of our innovation and product development while we continue to create technology that, unlike our competitors, bends to the needs of our customers, not the other way around.”