Jane Mosbacher Morris started her career in the U.S. Department of State helping women fight terrorism. Now she is helping them find fairly paid work.
She recognized that for women to drive change they needed access to resources, so she started studying agriculture and other sectors and become interested in the strategic investment in supply chain.
“What I noted was that retail manufacturing is the largest economies of scale and dominated by women in the supply chain,” Mosbacher Morris told TechCrunch. “However, there was not enough strategic investment into it to drive ethical and sustainable retail products. We started thinking about how we could be the catalyst and elevate roles to be able to fully participate in the global supply chain.”
She started To The Market in 2016 with the vision of democratizing that access to the global supply chain while also protecting the environment and promoting businesses, especially those founded by women. The company’s proprietary platform vets ethical and sustainable businesses along the supply chain and uses technology to connect brands with that network of suppliers. Its syndicated supply chain now includes over 200 makers in 50 countries.
The company announced a Series A round of funding Monday and Mosbacher Morris confirmed it was $5 million. The financing was led by Curate Capital and included Working Capital Fund, Spouting Rock and Forward Ventures, as well as follow-on investment from Belle Fund, Knightsgate Ventures and a group of strategic angel investors.
“To The Market is becoming a seal of approval for ethically made goods,” said Carrie Colbert, founder and general partner of Curate Capital. “They are going to be the end all, be all for these vetted sources. I applaud them for their growth in 2020. This team not only weathered the storm of the pandemic because they are so well-positioned, but when makers were unable to get goods out of China, Jane had an extensive network ready to meet their needs.”
Mosbacker Morris said that because of its investment in the vendor matrix, the company is “at least a decade ahead of any other connector,” not only in the sustainability and ethical characteristics, but also in business performance.
Retailers To The Market is working with include Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, Burlington and Bloomingdales. The company intends to put the funding to use around new growth. That includes expanding the team, technology development and capturing more of the market. The company has about 20 employees, “a lean and mean team,” Mosbacher Morris called it.
“We are partnering with makers not in China to add more value to the global supply chain and for U.S. companies that, in particular, have previously been hyper focused on one country,” Mosbacher Morris said. “This pandemic has shown us that it is critical to have a diversified, syndicated supply chain. It is very risky to rely on a single factory and country.”