Oct 4, 2023

Our Investment in Centro Commerce

Centro is building a single source of truth for inventory.

Neha Khera

We are thrilled to announce our investment in Centro Commerce!

Centro is building a single source of truth for inventory for e-commerce brands.

What's the problem with inventory?

For brands, managing inventory has continuously been a challenge. They grapple with questions like, Do I have the right number of items in stock? Or should I place an order? How much should I order? How long will that order take? Do we have the cash for that?

This presents brands with an with endless array of options that are all driving towards one simple goal: When a customer buys an item, make sure it's available.

The vast majority of smaller brands rely on manual methods and spreadsheets to track all of this. The larger brands utilize ERPs or other inventory tools which have turned into bloatware. And so the problem persists.

The Centro team Experienced this Problem Firsthand

Andrew Liu (Centro's CTO) was working in the operations software group at retailer SSENSE, where he witnessed the scale of a supply chain at the enterprise level, with thousands of SKUs flowing in and out from across many countries.

Andrew was investigating solutions to help SSENSE with inventory tracking. They looked at all available solutions but either found them to be too limiting or too difficult to implement. Nothing was meeting their needs.

Andrew reached out to his longtime friend Jamyang Tenzin (CEO) who was at Shopify. Jamyang started asking Shopify merchants whether they faced similar inventory challenges, and over 80% of them said they weren’t confident in their inventory numbers. The duo quit their jobs and decided to do something about it.

Centro's Unique Vision

Centro is attacking the problem by building an inventory platform which is fully data driven, meaning the emphasis is put on pulling in inventory data from across a brand’s various channels, and making sure it is always up-to-date.

It's a seemingly simple solve, but in reality very complex when you think about having to connect disparate data sets from across 3PLs, co-packers, suppliers, etc. In today's world, inventory no longer sits in one spot but is rather spread across multiple locations and vendors.

Once that raw data is in place, Centro's control hub allows brands to action the data by,

  1. Having complete visibility
  2. Knowing what inventory is at risk of stocking out
  3. Being able to place orders
  4. Suggesting smart actions through an always-on forecast
  5. Etc.

The result is a complete inventory operating system which is proving to not only save brands time, but saving them money by avoiding lost sales.

What's next?

With the data layer in place, Centro will further enhance its control hub with more automations. Imagine a Zapier-like experience, paired with a personal team of digital inventory experts coordinating your staple purchase orders. This way brands have deeper control and visibility over how to action their data.

2048VC x Centro

2048VC is thrilled to announce that it led Centro's $2M pre-seed round, alongside our friends at Ripple Ventures. In fact Ripple first introduced us to Jamyang and Andrew, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with them.

Be sure to check out Axios' coverage of Centro's fundraise here.

As for you and I? Good riddance to those pesky retailer stock-out notices, once and for all!

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