Portland startup Candid lands $2M to help brands and retailers run their wholesale business online

Candid is a software program meant to help retailers with their online wholesale efforts. (Candid Photo)

New funding: Portland, Ore.-based startup Candid raised $2 million to help retailers and other businesses run their wholesale efforts online.

The tech: Candid’s subscription-based service allows customers to bring wholesale-related communication and invoices all to the same platform. Avery Bloom, Candid co-founder and CEO, said 80% of wholesale transactions happen on paper or over the phone.

Avery Bloom, co-founder and CEO of Candid (Candid Photo)

“We want retailers and brands to be on equal footing with [large companies] who can throw huge budgets at software and employees to make wholesale work for them,” Bloom said in an email. “It takes a lot of guts to build a brand, open a store, or launch an e-commerce shop, but for most, taking control of wholesale and doing it right has never been an option.”

Both wholesale buyers and sellers use the program. A seller’s “storefront” features any visuals the seller wants to display, along with quick facts about the company, and a buyer then sees a “catalog.”

The order itself is displayed in what looks like a traditional online shopping cart, but with wholesale-specific features, including approval status, payment terms, estimated delivery, and an integrated messaging system.

Candid also offers a fintech product, Candid Pay, that lets sellers accept credit card payments.

Founding story: Bloom started Candid after he and his wife built an apparel brand called North of West. As the company grew, wholesale became an issue.

“While our e-commerce business thrived with strong tech and tooling to support it, for wholesale, we were left cobbling together a dozen pieces of software just to keep everything straight,” Bloom said.

Dave Lowensohn, COO and co-founder of Candid. (Candid Photo)

Bloom founded Candid with his co-founder, Dave Lowensohn. They were former colleagues at Stack Development, a Portland software development firm.

Funding source: Backers include Amplify, TenOneTen, Stage VP, SaaS Ventures, and First Row Partners. The new round adds to earlier investment from Cascade Seed Fund and angel investors from the Pacific Northwest.

What’s next: Candid employs nine people, mainly based in Portland. The new funding will help grow the team and fuel marketing efforts. Within the next few weeks, the platform will also start a partnership with Squarespace which will let Squarespace customers add Candid as a third-party extension.

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Portland Retail Startups Avery bloom Candid Funding