Online marketplace TradeSquare raises $28 million

As marketplaces continue to become more popular worldwide, TradeSquare has secured $28 million from US investment firm Tiger Global.

The online wholesale marketplace believes the next phase of digital transformation is B2B wholesale and has already attracted 1,000 suppliers with more than 150,000 SKUs, and more than 10,000 registered buyers, making it the largest wholesale platform in Australia.

"This investment will allow us to scale in a very significant way and build upon our rapidly growing business proposition and model, our use of smart technology and the strong executive team that we have put together," says TradeSquare co-founder, Nati Harpaz.

"We are excited to have Tiger Global join us as we continue our mission of reinventing wholesale in Australia."

TradeSquare was founded in 2020 by the former Catch CEO and his business partner, entrepreneur Einat Sukenik, and was a saviour to many retail businesses during the first two Covid years.

The old way of bringing wholesalers and retailers together was through trade shows or overseas buying trips, but these disappeared during Covid, says Sukenik.

“You can think of TradeSquare as a 24/7 digital trade show, allowing retailers to easily discover and order wholesale products, and providing wholesalers access to retailers Australia-wide. Our initial focus is gift and homewares, but ultimately the market is much broader. We are hugely excited by the opportunities that lie ahead.

“TradeSquare is a key player in making Australia's economy fairer and healthier by empowering the small businesses to easily discover and order wholesale products. For example, a gift and homeware shop in Dubbo placed an order from 11 wholesalers in one cart, with one invoice and 60-day credit terms.

“This is a game-changer, especially with Covid still restricting retail business activity. Convenience, data and community are three key factors contributing to growth in independent retail. These funds will allow us to keep the focus on creating an exceptional B2B experience both for Australia's retailers and wholesalers through smart technology."

Sukenik adds that they have created an open channel with retailers and wholesalers to ensure that they build a solution that matters to both. That open channel led to an understanding that wholesalers were struggling with marketing effectively, which led to TradeSquare’s marketing service.

“Our wholesalers are manufacturers, makers and distributors,” Harpaz notes. “That’s what they do and what they know. We actively market our wholesalers under the one umbrella so that they can focus on what they do best.

“We’re Australian entrepreneurs ourselves. We understand the challenges. We’ve faced them. We have lived through the hard knocks of running a business in Australia and come out the other side. That’s where we stand apart. Australia can be a rugged environment for retail businesses.”