May 14, 2024
min read

Our Investment Into Purple Dot – Building the Future of E-commerce

Portfolio news
Our Investment Into Purple Dot – Building the Future of E-commerce

Back in the summer of 2020 I had the pleasure of my first meeting (virtually!) with Madeline and John in the midst of the lockdowns when they were just starting out, still yet to raise their seed funding. And so began a near four year journey of relationship building which has now led to OpenOcean leading their $10m Series A which we couldn’t be happier about.

I’m sure the Purple Dot team will not mind me saying that when I am excitedly telling people about this startup that enables pre-ordering it has tended to generate puzzled reactions. 

Is that really a big opportunity?

Well, in our view, it is a massive opportunity. An opportunity that goes beyond the simplistic notions of enabling pre-ordering online. Purple Dot is defining a whole new paradigm which rearranges the ossified flow of eCommerce: “Pre-commerce”. At OpenOcean we focus on technology that harnesses data and products that can become fundamental building blocks of modern data infrastructure. We see Purple Dot as providing exactly this in the world of eCommerce.

When eCommerce is enabled by Purple Dot both the merchant and shopper experience is revolutionised.

Merchants are able to sell across the entire supply chain lifecycle rather than being tied to the bricks and mortar paradigm of only selling what is in the warehouse, a hangover of translating high street retail to the web. 

When merchants use Purple Dot they can always sell their products with the peace of mind that Purple Dot’s technology is ensuring the customer experience is seamless, secure and not marred by the traditional pain and frustration of janky pre-order facades that are really just dumping grounds for customer orders, inevitably leading to disappointment and distrust. Moreover, merchants can move away from antiquated warehouse operations that lead to mountains of inventory sitting around either waiting to be sold (often never) or on hold as they are unable to ship without other items hitting the warehouse. With Purple Dot, merchants can have their cake and eat; they can always sell their goods and increase revenues whilst removing wasteful warehouse constraints which otherwise drive higher operational costs.

Purple Dot offers shoppers a completely new way of buying online. 

A world where “protected by Purple Dot” is as ubiquitous as checking out with Klarna or paying with PayPal.

Purple Dot’s performance to date is a testament to the fact that consumers will buy what they desire even if it isn’t on the shelf yet but they need to know that their money is protected and their experience is transparent. 

I’d liken this to how Uber completely overhauled the historically miserable experience of ordering a cab, back when you couldn’t simply see the car arriving on an app but had to check out of the window every two minutes and pray.

So what happens when merchants can sell earlier and shoppers can buy with confidence before their items have arrived? You revolutionise commerce and create a paradigm shift which creates a more sustainable and efficient world where merchants no longer have to estimate what they need to stock and rather move to a model where they fulfil the exact needs of their customers. 

The sad fact is 1 in 4 products produced for eCommerce are never sold. This makes no sense. It is bad for customers, the merchant, and the planet. 

In a future where commerce is built on Purple Dot, 100% of products made would be sold.

This means more revenue, greater profitability, less waste, and happier customers.

The reason we are so excited is that this vision is being built by a dream team. Madeline and John and their team have all been building data-driven commerce products for many years; half the team built and sold their last company to Skyscanner together. This is a team with world-class pedigree and demonstrated ability to make their vision a reality. We couldn’t be happier to now join them after so many years getting to know each other, and we are delighted to partner with them for many years to come.

About Purple Dot

Purple Dot is the world's first Pre-commerce platform, enabling brands and retailers to sell products before they arrive at the warehouse. By empowering brands to sell early and with confidence, Purple Dot helps to solve the urgent problem of unsold inventory, benefiting businesses, consumers, and the environment. 

Purple Dot's platform integrates seamlessly with existing eCommerce infrastructure, providing a trusted and streamlined experience for merchants and their customers. The company is headquartered in London, UK, with a team of 15 spread across London and Charlotte, NC, USA. 

For more information, visit

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