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Lookboard: the New York ecommerce platform that pulls B2B wholesale infrastructure into the 21st century

New York-based ecom­merce start­up Look­board is aim­ing to drag the fax, pen and paper B2B whole­sale infra­struc­ture into the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry with cut­ting-edge dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy, act­ing as an online whole­sale cat­a­log which brings e‑retailers and small, up-and-com­ing sup­pli­ers togeth­er. This lit­tle new­bie might just be one to watch for inno­v­a­tive e‑commerce man­agers and e‑commerce analysts.

Look­board takes the don­key­work out of ecom­merce-ven­dor relations

Launched on March 1st this year, the start­up already claims lead­ing dai­ly deals sites like Liv­ing Social, No More Rack, Nordstrom’s HauteLook and Zulily amongst its biggest buy­ers and it’s also attract­ing inter­est from dis­cov­ery-ori­ent­ed e‑commerce ven­tures like Fab. The sell­ers fea­tured in the dig­i­tal cat­a­log are ris­ing, with less­er known design­ers includ­ed offer­ing prod­ucts across a range of cat­e­gories from tech to jew­el­ry, food to men’s cloth­ing, home décor to women’s fash­ion.

The tech­nol­o­gy deployed, e‑commerce ana­lysts will note, is like noth­ing else in the tra­di­tion­al B2B whole­sale space. Look­board uses a taste algo­rithm, so that when buy­ers sign up, their tastes are gauged through a pho­to-based quiz. As they curate their col­lec­tions, the algo­rithm pro­gres­sive­ly refines its sug­ges­tions based on what’s been select­ed to date. And, cru­cial­ly, the plat­form allows ecom­merce firms to export Excel files con­tain­ing prod­uct data and high-res­o­lu­tion images with no need for a retail­er-ven­dor email thread.

Can it fly?

The more skep­ti­cal e‑commerce man­ag­er will doubt­less want to know whether it’s catch­ing on. Yes, is the short answer. Look­board now has 3,000 buy­ers and 4,800 ven­dors on its dig­i­tal books, and has more than 50,000 prod­ucts avail­able for pur­chase. Lit­tle won­der that CEO and founder Dan Hunh sounds con­fi­dent that he’ll raise his tar­get seed fund­ing of $1 mil­lion shortly.

He explains, “If you look at a retail­er today, to source prod­ucts you have to hire five to 10 mer­chan­dis­ers or buy­ers. Then they have to trav­el to trade shows. It takes over six months to find prod­ucts, which will cost hun­dreds of dol­lars. We stream­line that entire process of sourc­ing prod­ucts into one sin­gle line of code.”

Since launch­ing in March, Look­board has gen­er­at­ed a total of $400,000 in rev­enue. Ven­dors can use the site’s sim­ple dash­board to update their pric­ing and inven­to­ry every day, with each prod­uct hav­ing a unique URL.

This idea, we think, has wings.

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