Marketplace ‘super seller’, Boulevard, secures £2.2m to advance tech and help with ambitious growth plans
22 September 2021: Marketplace ‘super seller’ and tech startup, Boulevard, has closed a £2.2m seed investment from early and growth-stage VC, Fuel Ventures, following an exceptional 12 months.
As the appetite for buying and selling through marketplaces explodes, Boulevard is using its ground-breaking software to be the bridge between independent sellers & manufacturers and the world’s biggest marketplaces. From pricing strategies to and handling the supply chain and fulfilment at scale in a way comparable to the marketplace fulfilment service themselves.
Boulevard currently sells more than 150,000 products across nine product categories to consumers via multiple online channels, generating retail prices for over 15,000 product lines every 10 minutes, and is one of Amazon’s top 3rd party sellers. The company is currently tracking £6million annual revenue and anticipates reaching the £100million revenue milestone in five years. This means Boulevard will take a significant market share of the online marketplace seller industry worth over £57bn globally1.
As online commerce has thrived in the last year, marketplaces like Amazon and OnBuy have seen seller numbers grow and revenues for sellers grow by 50%. The competition for products is staggering and with eight million price changes a day on a single marketplace, manufacturers’ products can struggle to cut through themselves. As a marketplace ‘superseller’, Boulevard uniqueness comes from its ability to do all the heavy lifting for brands wanting to be present on these global marketplaces. Boulevard helps independent businesses from quickly bringing products to market through to complete control over sales, inventory and fulfilment thanks to its bespoke supply chain platform, ‘Eiger’With Fuel’s £2.2 million investment, Boulevard plans for an aggressive expansion plan, diversifying its product categories whilst advancing its sophisticated Eiger system, enabling the company to add products faster, identify new product opportunities and expand to additional marketplaces.
Dominic Portman, Founder and Managing Director of Boulevard, explained:
“We started life as a single category eCommerce business that we quickly scaled through the power of our own tech, Eiger. The lessons we learnt on how to sell online as an ecommerce business and opened up our expertise and tech to help others to do the same. Our tech, Eiger, ensures operational excellence for all aspects of online selling and the fulfilment of orders, and we’re using sophisticated algorithms to test product popularity, monitor stock levels and dynamically fulfil orders within competitive timeframes. We’re now planning on advancing the Eiger platform to enable us to break into new markets and become a leading, global online marketplace super seller.”
Mark Pearson, Managing partner at Fuel Ventures added:
“Dominic is a true entrepreneur – quick thinking, innovative and agile enough to recognise an opportunity and jump on it quickly. We have been so impressed with how he and his team have taken Boulevard to awe-inspiring heights of success in such early days. It’s clear from Boulevard’s unique approach, the building of their own end-to-end supply chain software and their impressive growth that they know how to be the big sellers on these platforms and continually adapting with the times. The decision to invest in Boulevard was an easy one for us: it is set to become a serious player among the world’s fastest-growing marketplaces.”
From university side hustle, to Covid pivots and global super seller
Founded in 2016 by Dominic Portman, Boulevard started out as Fancy Dress Worldwide with Dominic selling dress-up outfits to friends while studying at Nottingham Trent University. By 2019 the business was thriving with £3.4million in sales through online marketplaces and they had built their software, Eiger, to handle growing demand. As Covid hit and people’s need for fancy dress disappeared, the business took a downturn. Rather than ‘batten down the hatches’ Dominic expedited the company’s plans to diversify and use its knowledge and tech to support those wanting to sell online quickly and with minimal fuss.
The success of the pivot means Dominic was able to exceed pre-Covid revenues and avoid furlough or redundancy of its 40 staff.Boulevard’s £2.2million seed round today sees Fuel Ventures joining as investors alongside ex-Puregym’s CFO, Adam Bellamy, former Aon’s director Keith Ashworth and Kayar Raghavan, the former Citibank Global executive.