Toronto startup Tough Commerce has raised $2 million CAD as it looks to become the Shopify for more complex industries like construction.
In this mission, the startup has rebranded from Brokrete to Tough Commerce and added former Shopify engineering lead Willem van Bergen as an investor and board member last year.
The $2-million round was led by Tough Commerce’s board chair and investor Ronald Richardson. It also received contributions from Legacy Capital Ventures, Groupe PSC, MaRS IaF, and other undisclosed investors in proptech.
Tough Commerce allows companies in the construction industry to build their own app and web-based storefronts.
Founded in 2017 by Jordan Latourelle, Tough Commerce’s platform allows companies in the construction industry to build their own app and web-based storefronts. It claims to serve industries that have been traditionally underserved by e-commerce brands like Shopify, enabling businesses to create industry-specific workflows and digitize their operations.
Some of Tough Commerce’s capabilities include order management, pricing management, logistics, e-ticketing, invoicing, customer portal, AR automation, and real-time delivery.
van Bergen, who spent over a decade of his career working various leadership roles at Shopify after joining the company when it was just four years old, said he sees “strong parallels” between Tough Commerce and the retail tech giant’s early days.
“The team has the right energy, expertise and product needed to be the leader in this market, and it’s a big market,” said van Bergen.
Tough Commerce said its platform is currently used by construction suppliers across Canada, the United States, and Australia. Tough Commerce is not the only startup that offers e-commerce solutions for the construction industry, however. In Canada, Tough Commerce is joined by fellow Toronto-based company Toolbx. There is also Cloudfy, an English firm that provides its e-commerce platform for the broader trades industry.
The space that Tough Commerce operates in has not been immune to the downturn, however, as it faces inflation, supply chain issues, slow down in venture funding, and other macroeconomic factors. Montréal-based RenoRun for example, which offered an e-commerce platform for building materials, had to shut down operations after filing for insolvency.
With its new name and funding, Tough Commerce said it plans to continue expanding its platform, though it didn’t share details on the focus for its expansion.
Tough Commerce claims to have raised north of $7.8 million CAD in total funding to date. This includes the $3.8 million CAD in seed funding that it closed across several rounds. The startup also took part in Y Combinator’s Winter 2020 cohort.
Featured image courtesy Unsplash.
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