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Retail tech startup Mason to raise $100M

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Mason, an e-commerce infrastructure provider, plans to raise $100 million over the next two years, co-founders Kausambi Manjita and Barada Sahu tell Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: By harnessing AI, the San Francisco-based online shopping engine is helping retailers become multi- or omnichannel.

Details: Proceeds will go toward expanding its network and its offering into markets around the world, onboarding a waiting list of retail customers.

  • Mason will also invest in increasing its capabilities and building out its infrastructure.
  • While the founders estimate $100 million will fund their needs, that figure could increase in the coming months as the company assesses its capital needs, Manjita says.
  • Mason plans to be profitable by the end of this year.

Catch up fast: Mason raised a $7.5 million seed round in October led by Accel and Ideaspring Capital.

  • Lightspeed India Partners, Mana VC, Gaingels, Core91 and VH Capital also participated.

By the numbers: After launching it two years ago, Mason's platform is now generating $1 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV), the co-founders say.

  • Last year revenue quadrupled, though they declined to comment on the exact amount.
  • So far 10,000 merchants globally are utilizing the sales engine, a number that the co-founders expect to double by the end of this year.

How. it works: The idea is to help merchants sidestep marketplaces offered by the likes of Amazon and Walmart, which extract a high percentage of those brands' online sales, Sahu says.

  • The other aim is to help retailers bring their shops to wherever consumers spend their time online, such as on TikTok, versus trying to convince shoppers to visit their sites.
  • This is achieved via the startup's AI-powered shopping engine.
  • For every transaction Mason helps a retailer generate, it charges a 15 basis points ticket rate.
  • The goal is to increase that to 100 basis points or 1%, which is still a comparatively low fee, Sahu says.

The big picture: Retailers need more solutions following privacy changes by Apple to its iOS.

  • The headwinds for acquiring customers are growing stronger with Google stopping the use of third-party cookies on Chrome by the end of 2024.
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