The B2B ecommerce sector is already huge, and sales are increasing quickly. According to a study by Statista, B2B ecommerce in the U.S. will increase to over $3 trillion by the year 2027.
RepSpark is a B2B ecommerce wholesale platform that uses its software to enable brands to better connect with and serve retailers.
While the startup is HQ’d in Southern California, there are nearly 10 RepSpark employees in the Triangle, including five located in the “revenue office” in downtown Durham.
A wholesale business sells items in bulk to other companies. Retail is when the product is sold directly to the end consumer. Joel Bush, the Durham-based Chief Revenue Officer of RepSpark, said his company’s customers are brands who use the platform to sell their products wholesale to retailers.
Wholesale is more complicated than other ecommerce, Bush said.
“We are their software conduit to sell into retail,” Bush said.
RepSpark is a woman-led company and a spin-off from an apparel company called L*Space. RepSpark’s main customers are golf, swim, and apparel brands.
Retailers can access product information, inventories, product images, and place orders on the platform.
Most of RepSpark’s customers also sell directly to consumers on their own website, many being multi-brand companies, which is why RepSpark represents about 200 brands across its 100 or so customers.
TYR, 5.11, Perry Ellis, OluKai, Peter Millar, and Calliope Golf are all customers of RepSpark.
Bush has been active in the Triangle tech scene for a while, working at companies like Ventana, Extensibility, eTix, and others.
The company offers an app called RepSparkGo that allows sales teams and retail buyers to log into their accounts on mobile devices.
Customers of RepSpark can use the platform or app as a sales enablement tool.
Sales and marketing teams can manage the entire wholesale process from one place, Bush said. These groups can manage inventory, communicate with their customers, and run analytics and reports.
For example, marketing representatives at an apparel brand can use the platform to create a catalog of clothing and then share that with buyers through the RepSparkGo app.
RepSpark also helps its customers accommodate for lead times, the amount of time from when a product is ordered internally and manufactured by the brand until it is delivered to the customer (the retailer, in this case). For example, if a brand on the RepSpark platform typically has 100 shirts in stock for customers each month, customers can order products from future stock to complete a sale this month.
About $750M in sales were transacted on the RepSpark platform last year between the brands and retailers—i.e. the two sides of the platform. Bush said that RepSpark expects that figure to be about $1B this year, resulting in $5M of annual recurring revenue (ARR) for RepSpark.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools can be used to record inventory, images, product details, and other important business functions. About 20 ERP tools are integrated with RepSpark. This is important because “wholesale shoppers and their direct consumer shoppers know that when they’re placing an order, they actually have that inventory,” Bush said.