West Palm Beach startup Max Retail raises $15M to solve the excess inventory problem

Max Retail, a West Palm Beach-based marketplace for independent retailers’ excess stock, aims to solve a big problem for small retailers.  

Independent retailers across the country suffer from an average of  about 22% of excess stock that will cost them $50,000 to $200,000 in losses each year if left unsold. Most of these SMBs lack the resources or expertise to access the ecommerce marketplaces used by large brands.

“Independent retail shops are core pillars of their communities but face limited options for their excess inventory other than discounting far below cost, sending to consignment, or donating for a tax write-off,” said Melodie van der Baan, CEO & co-founder of Max Retail, who is a former independent retailer and distributor.

Through its platform, Max Retail helps independent retailers easily turn their unsold inventory into cash through its network of online and offline retailers, which include well-known publicly traded brands and luxury retailers. Getting the right inventory to the end customer at the right time, place and price is key, and now Max Retail has more funding to do that.

Today,  Max Retail announced a $15 million Series A round led by Nosara Capital, a London-based online marketplaces VC firm, with participation from Rethink Impact, a US-based impact venture capital firm that invests in female leaders using technology. The round also includes continued support from LA-based VC firm M13, Houston-based  The Artemis Fund, and StandUp Venture from Canada, who share a focus on enabling technologies that power commerce and money. The company previously raised a $5.9 million seed round in 2022, according to Crunchbase.

Melodie van der Baan, CEO & co-founder of Max Retail

“With this investment, we will continue to grow our sales channel network and expand this excess inventory solution to support the full product lifecycle, giving independent retailers and brands the tools they need to increase their inventory turns and maximize cash recuperation on unsold goods,” said van der Baan, in the announcement.

This funding will help Max Retail to more than double its sellers and expand its support of global sales channels in need of drop-ship inventory. The funding will also fuel its AI-powered pricing and allocating engine and SKU-level insights that help retailers understand inventory performance and market value, the company said. “We’re excited to bring even more tangible, life changing impact to the owners of retail businesses nationwide through the advancement of our technology that connects supply with demand,” van der Baan added in a LinkedIN post

Founded in 2017, Max Retail now has more than 2,000 sellers in all 50 states, and is on its way to becoming the largest supply chain that holds no inventory, the CEO added. Today, Max Retail serves 400 million end consumers through its partners. Van der Baan’s co-founders are Morgan Hatin Bodstrom and Damo Ciarelli.

Over the last twelve months, Max Retail has tripled seller payouts, with smaller sellers receiving about $12,000 per year and larger sellers making over $250,000 per year. Max Retail has also grown gross merchandise value (GMV) sold through the marketplace last year and is on the same track for 2024. The company employs about 50 people.

“Max Retail has built a highly automated product and does not manage inventory or logistics, allowing them to grow efficiently and expand into new geographies and categories. We’re excited to back Melodie and the Max Retail team, who bring a wealth of first-hand industry experience to solving these challenges,” said Ian Loizeaux, founding partner at Nosara Capital, in a statement.

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