French startup Stockly is raising a $12 million Series A round (€12 million) from Eurazeo, Daphni and several business angels. The company pools together the inventory of several e-commerce websites. When a retailer is out-of-stock on a popular item, they can still accept the order and process the order through a different retailer’s inventory.
This startup is a network play. As Stockly grows, its product becomes more interesting because there are more partner retailers on the platform. Some of Stockly’s customers include Galeries Lafayette, Jonak, Go Sport and Decathlon.
If there are multiple suppliers that can fulfill an order, Stockly automatically picks a retailer based on several criteria, such as price, distance and a quality score. Stockly also tells its partners to use neutral packaging so that everything remains transparent for the end customer.
The main technical challenge is that Stockly has to synchronize millions of items at any point in time. It integrates with existing e-commerce product feeds and it has to reflect Stockly’s information in real time.
For instance, Stockly can’t say that it can find a specific product at a specific price if there’s some delay and no one actually has this product in its inventory anymore. But if it works as expected, it’s an easy sell as it improves user experience and everybody makes some revenue along the way — the e-commerce retailer, the product supplier and Stockly.
With today’s funding round, the company plans to reach 50 employees and sign more retailers. Eurazeo and Daphni had already invested in Stockly last year so they’re both doubling down on their investment.