There’s no doubt that online shopping is the future, as apparent by the pandemic’s circumstances that pushed for almost everything to go online. Additionally, a Statista report notes that one of the biggest e-commerce players, Amazon, generated about $80.5 billion in 2020. Making a dent in this big sector is the UK-based startup Boulevard, which calls itself an online marketplace “super seller.” It has now raised £2.2 million seed investment.
An aggressive expansion
Boulevard raised the latest funds from the early and growth-stage VC, Fuel Ventures. And with this, the startup plans an aggressive expansion while diversifying its product categories. Additionally, it will focus on refining and advancing its Eiger System, which is its proprietary platform that links its suppliers, product management and several other technologies.
Mark Pearson, Managing partner at Fuel Ventures comments, “It’s clear from Boulevard’s unique approach, the building of their own end-to-end supply chain software and their impressive growth that they know how to be the big sellers on these platforms and continually adapting with the times. The decision to invest in Boulevard was an easy one for us: it is set to become a serious player among the world’s fastest-growing marketplaces.”
Boulevard’s team currently consists of 43 people, 16 of which were hired post funding. In a conversation with UKTN, the company’s CEO Dominic Portman says this number will grow significantly from October to February as they hire further warehouse and CX staff.
Making a mark, online
The ecommerce space is already filled with big players and competitors. However, Boulevard sets itself apart by offering its own supply chain technology, which is touted to quickly bring new products to market from partnered suppliers. It does this by integrating its tech solution with supplier stock and inventory. The startup currently sells over 150,000 products across nine product categories to its consumers.
Adding more, Portman says, “We have developed features like our autonomous pricing engine – which is capable of generating retail prices for over 150,000 product lines every 10 minutes – together with the development of sophisticated algorithms that allow us to test a product’s popularity, monitor its stock levels and dynamically fulfil orders within competitive timeframes.”
Boulevard is also one of Amazon’s top 3rd party sellers. The company is currently tracking £6 million in annual revenue and it expects to touch the £100 million revenue milestone in five years. It aims to do this with the help of its tech platform Eiger, which is an end-to-end supply chain software. As per the startup, it manages pricing, bringing to market to fulfilment and distribution, while allowing the company to streamline the process by maintaining stock levels, pricing competitively and much more.
Falling, pivoting and growth
Boulevard was founded back in 2016 and it sold fancy dress clothing on marketplaces. The startup took a major hit in terms of revenue when the pandemic evaporated this demand. “Rather than ‘batten down the hatches’ we took the decision to expedite the company’s plans to diversify – avoiding furlough and redundancies of our amazing team,” Portman says.
The pandemic forced the company to adapt and pivot. They changed their offering to help multiple independent brands and businesses, who were looking to quickly make up lost revenue by going online quickly. As per Portman, “It was a tiring period for all involved in the diversification and rebrand, but we managed to grow, even with the requirement for our core products disappearing overnight.”
The startup also plans to expand its offerings further with the UK at the forefront. “For the first time, we are also looking further afield with products being sourced from around the world and new products brought to our UK marketplace stores by our new Business Development Team,” Portman concludes.