Led by a team that has worked with or invested in Farfetch, Ocado, Lyst, Swiggy, and Deloitte, London-based B2B marketplace Creoate has raised $5 million in a seed funding round. The platform enables independent retailers to source sustainable products from brands and wholesalers and uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to help forecast sales and manage inventory levels.
Photo: CEO Ashley Horn and co-founder Fahrad Khan.
Founded in 2020 by Ashley Horn and Fahad Khan, Creoate was established to address the outdated and often needlessly complex wholesale ecosystem. Now active in 10 countries including the UK, France, and the Netherlands, Creoate has seen over 25,000 retailers joining the platform in the last six months alone, a number up 1,600% year-over-year.
“I saw first-hand working in financial services how little data is used today to make inventory decisions, which locks out millions of businesses from financial inclusion,” commented Khan. “That’s where we believe technology can add the most value, by empowering businesses to be more resilient and make better money.”
Operating in the background, the company’s data engine, Bifrost, is using marketplace data to make instant payment decisions for each retailer. This effectively removes the high-pressure situation of negotiating terms with large-scale banks or third-party lenders. This then shifts the needle for retailers as they can move to an on-demand inventory model, a factor that was key during the pandemic. Instead of responding to consumers needs in months, Creoate was able to help retailers react within days.
“Unless you’re in the world of retail, it can be difficult to truly grasp just how broken the system is for the 2.5 million retailers and 30 million emerging brands that Creoate serves,” adds Fuel’s Mark Pearson. “We are captivated by Creoate’s technology which is inspired by the founding team’s real-world experience and empathy. Creoate’s incredible growth, despite a severely challenging economic environment is clear evidence of the must-have value it provides to independent businesses.”