eCommerce waitlist platform Purple Dot has raised £3 million.

The London company, founded in 2019 by Madeline Parra and John Talbott, aims to help retailers manage demand and reduce waste by revolutionising how items are bought and sold online. 

Its end-to-end waitlist platform gives eCommerce businesses opportunities to sell inventory earlier as a way to maximise sales, build brand loyalty and access demand data sooner.

The funding round was led by Unusual Ventures. Previous investors Connect Ventures, Moxxie Ventures, and the family office of Indeed co-founder Paul Forster also participated. 

The funding will be used to expand its advanced payment product while scaling the business and hiring new talent. 

“By selling earlier, brands open up a whole new window to capture sales,” said CEO Parra, who formerly founded Twizoo with Talbott before exiting the business to unicorn Skyscanner in 2017.

“The legacy mindset and technology assumes you need inventory in the warehouse to sell it. But with Purple Dot, you can always be selling because selling and shipping can be asynchronous. 

“This is the ‘a-ha’ moment for our brand partners. To get a sell-earlier strategy right, you need a dedicated approach that gets the customer experience, and internal tooling, right. 

“We’re excited to be pioneering waitlist shopping as the solution to selling earlier and providing eCommerce brands with a platform to re-imagine when, how, and what they sell.” 

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Since the start of 2021, tens of thousands of items worth millions of dollars have been sold via Purple Dot’s waitlists. Leading brands using Purple Dot to power their sell-earlier strategy include menswear direct-to-consumer brand SPOKE London, and US womenswear brand Lisa Says Gah.  

Adam Woodhouse, COO of SPOKE London, said: “Purple Dot has opened up a significant new revenue line for us. Selling eight weeks ahead of having the product meant we achieved a sell-through 400% higher than we predicted. 

“With Purple Dot’s waitlist platform, we can establish new product lines earlier, as well as never truly go-out-of-stock of evergreens, all before we even have the product in the warehouse.”