On Thursday, nate, a shopping app that’s out to transform the burgeoning e-commerce space, announced that it closed on a $38 million Series A funding led by Renegade Partners. Coming in a bit more than one year after its March 2020 seed round, this round brings the NYC-based company’s total funding raised to more than $50 million.
Founded by Amazon Fashion veteran Albert Saniger, nate made its debut last fall, enabling users to buy anything online with one click instead of the typical multi-step checkout process.
In fact, with nate, the entire online shopping experience looks pretty different than what most of us are used to. Instead of visiting countless different websites to find what you’re looking for, nate acts as a “universal shopping solution,” allowing its users to bring everything they could possibly want to one platform. Embedded in the app is a social media component, where friends and influencers can make recommendations and share ideas — eliminating the ideas and products coming through via algorithm. To boot, nate says it “never compromises on consumer privacy” and doesn’t charge merchants for using its platform.
The company also recently launched its own “pay later” solution, which allows users to split payments into installments instead of in one lump sum. More payment products and social functions are on the way soon in light of this recent funding.
“I want to live in a world where my friends inspire me on what to buy and from where,” Saniger told Built In via email. “And I want my data to be protected and owned by me, not by companies with incentives that are misaligned with mine, as a consumer. I’m excited about the role nate can play in this, in helping to solve shopping problems from moment of inspiration to payment.”
Nate says its user base doubles every six weeks, so this young company appears to be making an impact already.
Of course, nate’s ascent is coming at a rather interesting time for e-commerce in general, particularly amid the pandemic when more consumers than ever went online to do their shopping. The global sector hit a whopping $4 trillion in sales last year and the United States claimed about a quarter of that, with some of the biggest retailers in the country, including Amazon and Walmart, experiencing massive tailwinds.
Meanwhile, nate users can purchase from all 2 million online stores located in the United States — representing a large portion of what the company calls the “non-Amazon economy,” which makes up about 60 percent of U.S. e-commerce.
“The shift to e-commerce and online payments in general was already happening. The lockdown accelerated it,” Saniger said. “Consumers have a lot of options, and the only app that allows them to consolidate all of their shopping under one seamless and private roof is nate.”
Saniger also pointed out that nate is benefiting from a massive social media boom by tapping into the “nano-influencer” segment, which he says has “flourished” during the pandemic.
“Nate fits seamlessly to boost inspiration, without becoming a source for recommendations itself,” Saniger said. “We want humans to inspire humans.”
In keeping with that vision, nate says it is soon going to launch a new social function that will give influencers cash-back for any purchases their followers make by their suggestion, with the aim of monetizing on the “booming creator market.” The team is also developing an in-app wallet where influencers can save and use their rewards.