Wholesale order app Handshake raises $14M Series B for international growth

Handshake, a maker of wholesale order apps for mobile, will target new overseas markets after raising a $14 million Series B. The round was led by Sozo Ventures and includes returning investors Emergence Capital, SoftTech VC, BOLDstart Ventures, MHS Capital, Point Nine, and Primary Venture Partners.

Founded in 2010, the New York-based startup has now received a total of $23.5 million in funding. Founder and chief executive officer Glen Coates tells TechCrunch that Sozo Ventures, which focuses on bringing U.S. companies to new countries, will help Handshake develop a strategy for expanding into Asia. It will also use its new capital to grow its engineering and product teams and add more features to Handshake’s platform. One priority will be making Handshake more customizable to fit the needs of different customers.

Handshake differentiates from other wholesale order apps (competitors include Pepperi, NetSuite, and TradeGecko) by focusing on mobile first and trying to make its enterprise software as easy to use as consumer apps. Coates says that when he founded Handshake, good technology for manufacturers and distributors to sell to consumers already existed, but wholesale orders were still managed using outdated, cumbersome methods.

“That part of the business was running on awful manual processes: pen and paper, fax, email, Excel, you name it. There were basically no good technology options for B2B. There definitely wasn’t a great native mobile app for the iPhone or iPad, which had just come out,” he says.

Handshake started with an app for sales staff called Handshake Rep, before launching an e-commerce app called Handshake Direct. The company claims it currently has 1,000 customers, who used its software to handle 1.2 million orders worth $2.5 billion last year. Its clients include Bugaboo, Roland Music, Silhouette, Starkey Hearing Technologies, and Vega.