Flow wants to help brands and retailers go global — online. The startup, which provides software for businesses to improve their international ecommerce sales, today announced it has received $13 million in a funding round led by Bain Capital Ventures.
Merchants integrate their websites with Flow’s API in order to customize their display catalog, prices, and taxes to reflect local currencies. Flow also provides several international payment options and shipping carriers to choose from.
“Our technology has fundamentally improved conversion rates of retailers who typically lose customers to the fears and uncertainties of cross border commerce,” said Rob Keve, cofounder and CEO of Flow, in a statement. The startup, which just came out of stealth mode, claims to already have a number of brands and merchants onboard, and plans to announce those names in Q2.
The company offers its customers a subscription model, rather than charging a commission. “Existing solutions are all revenue-share and as a result more expensive than a subscription model, especially for larger merchants,” Keve wrote in an email to VentureBeat.
Flow’s software uses artificial intelligence to determine the types and categories of each product sold in order to assess how much duty/tax is applicable. It also speeds up shipping and reduces costs by “virtualizing” part of the shipping. “We use virtualization to avoid the existing approach of requiring products to first be shipped to a cross-dock warehouse before they can be shipped internationally,” Keve wrote.
But Flow isn’t the first player to address online globalization. Ecommerce giants like Alibaba and Amazon are also competing to take over cross-border sales.
“In the same way Amazon localizes some parts of the shopping experience for its consumers,” Keve wrote, “Flow gives those same features to brands and retailers that sell directly to consumers through their own website, not through Amazon, and are hence able to control the entire brand experience.”
Flow previously raised a seed round of $2.7 million from ecommerce entrepreneurs who include Brian Lee, CEO and cofounder of The Honest Company, and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, cofounder of Gilt and cofounder/CEO of GlamSquad.
This new capital will be used to expand globally, build additional features, and add more carriers and payment methods for the sellers.
Based in Hoboken, New Jersey, Flow was founded in 2015. Keve would not disclose the number of employees that currently work at the company.