Fabric, a Seattle-based e-commerce technology startup run by a growing roster of former Amazon executives, announced a $140 million Series C funding round, led by SoftBank, at a valuation of about $1.5 billion.
The deal makes Fabric the Seattle area’s newest “unicorn,” a privately held startup valued at more than a billion dollars. It’s the 18th company in the region to achieve that designation. Fabric has raised a total of $293.5M to date.
Fabric CEO Faisal Masud said in an interview that he believes the 300-person company is just starting to tap its potential market opportunity as trillions of dollars in commerce moves online.
“There’s this absurd amount of growth that is just waiting to be taken,” said Masud, a veteran of Amazon, Groupon, Staples and eBay. “Frankly, we think we’re very small, and we’re going to keep thinking that for a very long time.”
The 300-person company offers software, APIs, and other behind-the-scenes technology used by retailers and business-to-business brands for many aspects of online commerce, including pricing/promotion, inventory management, digital storefronts, and payments/checkout.
The idea is to give mid-market brands the tools keep up with Amazon even in cases when they don’t have the in-house technical expertise or capability to build out robust e-commerce systems.
Major customers include Chico’s clothing, McDonald’s, TriMark restaurant supply, L’azurde jewelry and, newly announced, The Honest Company, the sustainable consumer goods venture co-founded by actor Jessica Albsa.
Fabric’s technology competes against offerings from companies such as Salesforce, Shopify and Adobe Commerce (Magento). In many cases, it provides an alternative to custom, in-house technology.
The funding comes less than a year after Fabric closed a $43 million Series B round that valued the company at $850 million. Masud said the company hasn’t spent much of that prior funding round, and hadn’t actively been seeking additional investment, but decided to go ahead when the valuation matched its expectations.
SoftBank, which is making the investment through its Vision Fund 2, was joined in the round by Forerunner Ventures, Glynn Capital and existing investors Redpoint Ventures, Norwest Ventures and Stripes. Robert Kaplan, SoftBank investment director, will join the Fabric board as a result of the investment.
The company will use the funds to continue its geographic expansion, with a particular focus on Europe, the Middle East and Asia, adapting its technology to support new languages and currencies, and staffing up its teams in those regions. In addition, the company is looking to add new intelligence and autonomy into its commerce tools.
Fabric thinks of itself as the “AWS for commerce,” Masud said, referring to the Amazon Web Services cloud division that provides the underlying technology infrastructure for companies around the world.
The approach is commonly known in the industry as “headless” commerce, separating back-end technology from front-end experiences to give brands maximum flexibility in building out their systems and customer experiences.