Skubana, a startup promising to help e-commerce business manage what can be a dizzying array of logistical challenges, is announcing that it has raised $5.4 million in Series A funding.
The round was led by Defy Partners, with participation from Advancit Capital and FJ Labs. Early Skubana backer Brian Lee — who co-founded The Honest Company, ShoeDazzle and LegalZoom, and is also involved as a Defy Sage — is joining Skubana’s board of directors.
“When I first launched Shoedazzle and The Honest Company, one of our primary challenges was understanding how our products performed across channels,” Lee said in a statement. “Skubana solves a core problem that thousands of brands face and no other competitor solves well.”
CEO Chad Rubin said these were issues he faced when he started his own e-commerce business, Crucial Vacuum, a decade ago. In fact, Rubin’s co-founder and CTO DJ Kunovac (who was working at McKesson health IT) recalled visiting Rubin’s warehouse and saying, “What you’re experiencing right now is effectively where healthcare was a decade or two ago.”
The problem, Kunovac argued, is that there was separate software and systems for every part of the process. What was needed was a “horizontal platform of commerce.”
So with Skubana, Rubin and Kunovac have built a software platform that handles shipping, inventory management, restocking and more. The main thing Skubana doesn’t handle is the creating the actual online storefront and shopping cart. Instead, it’s built to take care of everything that a business needs to do once those orders start coming in.
As Rubin put it, “If Shopify is a city, then we’re everything underneath the ground.”
By bringing all the data together from various sales channels and applying and machine learning, the company says it can improve profitability and reduce issues like selling more product that you have in the inventory. There’s also an app store to integrate Skubana with other systems.
“We’re completely replacing these siloed, fragmented pieces of software,” Rubin said.
Brands already using the software include Bird Rides, Valvoline, and Deathwish Coffee. Kunovac noted that Skubana isn’t “entry-level software” — when brands sign up to use it, they’ve usually a growing a commerce business, which is when “the laws of physics have started to take over.” In other words: “They come to us from pain.”
With the new funding, Skubana says it will double its size in the next 18 months, build a number of new products and continue to invest in its app store ecosystem.