Ecommerce software company fabric has raised $140 million in a Series C funding round led by SoftBank, less than a year after its $100 million Series B. Fabric’s funding to date now totals $293 million and puts fabric at a $1.5 billion valuation.
The company’s rapid growth tracks with the broader ecommerce boom: global ecommerce surpassed $5 trillion in 2021, and B2B ecommerce is expected to reach $20.9 trillion by 2027. Competing with the likes of Shopify and Commercetools, fabric aims to offer mid-sized brands an easy entry point into the world of API-based headless commerce solutions. Headless is widely seen as a more agile ecommerce foundation, allowing businesses to respond quickly to changing consumer demand and technological innovations.
Founded by ex-Amazon and Staples executives in 2017, the company now counts among its 50+ clients Chico’s FAS, GNC, McDonald’s, Black Rifle Coffee Company and Cadre Style.
“People are fed up with being locked into monolithic platforms that are expensive, hard to use, make it difficult to expand your business in different directions and are extremely complicated when it comes to managing the day to day because you need an army of engineers,” said Faisel Masud, CEO of fabric in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “In ecommerce only five things really, truly matter: the item and providing as much detail as possible; price; inventory management; order management; and finally, the customer.
“With our API-first commerce platform you’re able to decompose the backend and pick and choose what you want to use to set up your items, set your pricing, orchestrate your orders, build your loyalty programs, subscriptions and marketplaces,” Masud added. “We power all the domains of commerce, but we don’t lock you into one. You can be on Salesforce and use our loyalty program. You can be on Shopify and use our PIM.”
Masud’s CV reads like a who’s who of Silicon Valley giants. He spent time at Amazon, eBay, Groupon, Staples and Alphabet before joining fabric, which was co-founded by his former Staples colleague Ryan Bartley. While at Staples, Masud and Bartley helped move the company from its previous monolithic platform to a custom-build headless solution, and the idea to help other brands create their own “commerce fabric” was born.
In a space where competition is increasing, Masud said fabric’s key differentiator is its team: “We’ve been very fortunate in hiring some of the top talent in the industry,” he said. “[Combined] our team has over 100 years of commerce experience, so we’re well-equipped to solve commerce problems through our product.”
In addition to Masud and Bartley, fabric’s senior leadership now boasts a host of former Amazonians, including CTO Umer Sadiq (who helped build Amazon Prime and Amazon’s Returns); COO Stacy Saal; and Head of APAC and VP of Software Engineering, APAC, Chandra Shekar Neti.
With all that ex-Amazon muscle, it makes sense that the form of the fabric solution looks familiar. “I think with COVID the retail world realized that their biggest villain is not Amazon, it’s themselves and their platforms,” said Masud. “Amazon is not the villain. Amazon’s actually helping you understand that there are better ways of running your business. What Amazon did was simplify the way you do commerce online, through a microservices, headless approach and by building a product organization, not a project management organization. A project manager’s life is finite within that project; it’s one and done, next project. A product manager’s life is, what does the product look like five years from now, so let’s work backwards. Without product thinking, retailers are dead.”