App developer Handshake has raised $8 million in new funding to grow its business selling a mobile wholesale sales ordering and fulfillment application.
New investor Emergence Capital Partners led the Series A round, with participation from Handshake’s seed investors SoftTech VC, MHS Capital, and High Peaks Venture Partners. Other investors include BOLDstart Ventures and Point Nine Capital.
Handshake was born out of the frustrations of Glen Coates, an Australian programmer who moved to the U.S. to run distribution efforts for a friend’s retail company.
“In 2010 I basically was at a trade show doing what I did,” Coates said. “There were buyers coming past and I was writing orders down with a pen and paper and I basically snapped and said this is insane.”
Figuring there had to be a way that software could simplify the ordering process for mobile sales forces, Coates began developing the app that would become Handshake. So in 2010 he relocated to New York, launched Handshake in Apple’s app store and started his new business.
The company’s customers include retailers like the high end baby stroller and accessory company, Bugaboo, and the infant and toddler gear retailer, Skip Hop.
Coates declined to comment on the company’s revenues, but said that Handshake was already making money from “thousands of paid users”. Like other business-facing apps, Handshake charges a subscription fee for its service.
Using Handshake, sales reps can take orders on the company’s tablet application while in a store or at trade shows, with the latest data on inventory and previous sales histories at their fingertips. The company intends to use the money to expand beyond mobile devices and into other areas of sales support.
As a result of its investment, Kevin Spain, a general partner with Emergence Capital, will take a seat on the Handshake board of directors. His firm has a history of backing successful software services companies like Salesforce, SuccessFactors, Yammer, and more recently, Box.
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