Handshake firms up $14 mln round led by Sozo

New York-based Handshake, a provider of a B2B commerce platform for manufacturers and distributors, announced it has raised $14 million in a Series B round led by Sozo Ventures. Also participating in the round are the company’s existing investors, including Emergence Capital, SoftTech VC, BOLDstart Ventures, MHS Capital, Point Nine and Primary Venture Partners. The company, founded in 2010, has now raised $23.5 million in total financing. VC board members include Kevin Spain of Emergence and Jeff Clavier of SoftTech.


Handshake Raises $14 Million in Series B Funding

Growth taps into acceleration of demand for B2B eCommerce and mobile sales force automation

New York – March 17, 2016 – Handshake, the emerging leader in B2B Commerce technology for manufacturers and distributors, today announced it successfully closed its $14 million Series B led by Sozo Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm focused on helping U.S.-based startups expand globally. All of Handshake’s existing investors – Emergence Capital, SoftTech VC, BOLDstart Ventures, MHS Capital, Point Nine, and Primary Venture Partners – also participated in the round. To date, Handshake has raised $23.5 million since its founding in 2010.

“Handshake is doing for B2B Commerce what Shopify and Square did for retail. Our mobile app for sales reps and B2B eCommerce solutions help manufacturers and distributors grow their business by making it easy for their customers to order the right products in-person and online,” said Glen Coates, CEO and co-founder of Handshake. “The on-demand economy and the push towards best-in-class mobile apps for business has raised the stakes for manufacturers and distributors. We give them a competitive edge by equipping them with an ordering experience that delights their customers and leads to a higher order volume.”

Handshake will use the funding to further accelerate the development of its B2B Commerce platform that handles the complexity of B2B while delivering a modern, simple and intuitive user experience on par with the most popular eCommerce sites. In addition, Handshake will broaden its omni-channel offering into mobile commerce, providing B2B buyers with shelf-side ordering from a tablet or smartphone, and expand its international business operations to capitalize on the rapidly growing, $6.1 billion global B2B Commerce market.

Today, most suppliers still rely on overly complex legacy systems and inefficient manual methods such as faxes, phone calls, and emails to write, submit, and process orders. With Handshake’s B2B Commerce platform, sales reps and their customers can easily place orders on any device, allowing them to place orders anywhere, anytime. Handshake’s mobile sales app provides sales reps with the product and customer information they need to write over 1.2 million orders valued at $2.5 billion, annually.

The company’s B2B eCommerce Portal, Handshake Direct, has demonstrated the value of deploying a solution for convenient, self-service ordering by customers. In the first nine months after its launch in 2015, Handshake Direct customers generated 250 percent more orders than other Handshake customers, and over 33,000 individual buyers placed an order.

“Handshake is one of our more valuable partners and an increasingly integral part of our sales process. Sales reps work more efficiently and with real-time information at their fingertips, they are building deeper partnerships with our dealers that expand our business,” said Paul McCabe, CEO of Roland Canada. “Deploying Handshake Direct will keep Roland top-of-mind with all of our dealers year-round and we can provide even better service to our smaller and mid-sized B2B customers through the self-service portal.”

“As we have expanded our platform to cover all in-person and online B2B sales channels, we have seen increased adoption from mid-market and enterprise suppliers both domestically and globally,” added Coates. “Our investors have a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by multinational manufacturers and distributors that will be invaluable to Handshake as we execute on our vision.”

“B2B Commerce is literally how every product gets on every shelf in every store. Through our experience we recognized that the problem Handshake is solving is big and one that even the largest companies are struggling with,” said Phil Wickham, General Partner, Sozo Ventures. “Due to the recent explosion in mobile, the market opportunity can no longer be ignored. We invested in Handshake because we believe they have the right team and the mobile-first platform vision that will solve this problem for the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors.”

“The team at Handshake is doing an amazing job building top-tier SaaS and mobile products for the wholesale industry,” said Kevin Spain, General Partner at Emergence Capital. “Emergence has worked with many of the world’s leading SaaS companies, including the likes of Salesforce and Box. We know what it takes to build a world class SaaS offering – and we are thrilled to be partnered with Handshake as they build one of the next great SaaS businesses.”

About Handshake

Founded in 2010, Handshake provides the B2B Commerce platform for manufacturers and distributors that powers standout ordering experiences both in-person and online. Companies using Handshake transform their sales effectiveness and drive operational efficiency, delighting customers and growing lasting relationships. The Handshake mobile app allows sales reps to write orders faster, and gives them the product and customer information they need to have more strategic customer conversations. Handshake Direct is a custom B2B e-commerce portal that complements field sales reps by providing customers the convenience of 24×7 ordering and product education. For more information, visit https://www.handshake.com/.