Feb 22, 2022 - Technology

E-commerce tech firm raises $20M from a16z

Illustration of cogwheels made of quarters rotating together.
Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Alloy Automation, an e-commerce app integration company, raised $20 million from Andreesen Horowitz, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: Alloy struggled to raise its $1 million first round in early 2020, as investors stepped away from deals at the onset of the pandemic. Today's financing comes after Alloy's e-commerce tech took off over the past two years.

E-commerce technology has exploded, with software developed for everything from returns tracking to rewards points, and payments to marketing.

  • Alloy aims to allow individual consumers to tie all these different systems together via API.
  • For example, users can automatically customize thousands of cardboard cutouts of fans for a Balitmore Ravens game using Airtable, Twitter, and Shopify, from Alloy's platform, which includes 130 tech company partners.

What they're saying: Alloy was founded with Zapier—a $5 billion company—as inspiration. But the younger startup is betting it can create a more customized experienced and attract more loyal customers by focusing on e-commerce.

  • "Zapier doesn't want to spend their energy on e-commerce. There are more lucrative ones if they were to try and verticalize," says CEO and co-founder Sara Du. "At this point, we're not only an automation tool, but we're building out tangential [software] and analytics functionality... like an e-commerce operating system."

What the funding means: Having thought they'd have to survive on $1 million for five years, the new funding has the founders shifting to growth mindset.

  • They plan to grow to 40 employees from 21 by the end of the year.
  • David Ulevitch, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, is taking a board seat. FirstMark Capital and Hawke Ventures also invested in the round.

Lucinda Shen co-authors the Axios Pro Fintech deals newsletter. Start your free trial at AxiosPro.com.

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