SAN FRANCISCO — Volition has secured an $11 million seed round led by Newark Venture Partners and Quiet Capital, with participation from Lachy Groom, Alan Rutledge, Julian Capital, and Humba (Susa) Ventures. Volition is the first and only online industrial parts marketplace designed specifically for the needs of the hardware development world. It aims to accelerate the pace of hardware innovation by serving as the hub that organizes all of the world’s components.
“Volition is the first marketplace for the $2T industrial components industry that helps engineering and purchasing teams find and buy all of the parts they need to prototype and manufacture their designs,” said Nick Pinkston, co-founder and CEO of Volition. “My co-founders and I previously ran Plethora, a custom manufacturing company, and we spent far too much time just searching for the right parts to build our factory and our customers’ products. To solve for that, we built the world’s largest catalog of these components – 16M products and growing – by partnering with industrial distributors and using our uniquely scalable data technology to quickly list products for sale.”
The industrial distribution world has not kept pace with the broader eCommerce revolution, and this is even more acutely true for the 400,000 small and niche suppliers in the space. These teams are without the resources to build a sophisticated online store tailored to their customers’ specific technical needs, especially the massive cost required to create large catalogs of such highly complex products. Meanwhile, their customers are using phones and email to find and source the components they are looking for, a huge waste of time and money.
Now, these customers can use Volition to search across the largest collection of products ever assembled, and then filter down to just the products that meet their exact specifications. This is the first time this has ever been possible because generic marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba are unable to make sense of the vast array of structured product data required to produce this user experience.
To do this, Volition invented a new kind of product data engine able to upload and standardize a massive amount of supplier product content at a scale never before achieved. This system uses automation and AI to empower human experts to create a high quality catalog at scale. By solving this problem, Volition is able to organize the entirety of this industry’s products and make them searchable and purchasable in one place.