Harlem Capital, a diversity-focused venture capital firm, led a $3.7 million seed round for Singuli, according a press release provided to AfroTech.
Founded in 2019 by Benjamin Kelly and Thierry Bertin-Mahieux, Singuli created an AI-powered platform that allows retailers to use consumer behavior to better inform inventory decisions. This seed round is the first major funding deal the company has closed, which includes participation from High Alpha Capital, AVG Basecamp Fund, existing investors Interlace Ventures and LAUNCH, as well as angel investors Paul Goodman and Darwish Gani. The fresh funding also includes a previously unannounced $700,000 pre-seed round.
“Our mission is to provide commerce brands of all sizes with state of the art tools to make optimal inventory decisions,” Singuli co-founder and CEO Benjamin Kelly told AfroTech. “This is a gnarly space and there are lots of tricky problems.”
Kelly was inspired to launch Singuli with Bertin-Mahieux after working as a data scientist in the consumer space for nearly a decade. He said in a press release that he saw an obvious need for a new approach to inventory while overcoming supply chain challenges. Ultimately, Singuli’s work is centered on helping retailers avoid exhausting their inventory capabilities. The company plans to use the seed funding to expand its team and build out its go-to-market operations.
With the close of this seed round, Jarrid Tingle, managing partner at Harlem Capital, joins Singuli’s board of directors.
“Betting on Ben and the Singuli team was a no-brainer. We love Ben’s background as the first data scientist at Birchbox, the company’s traction to-date, and their vision of providing world class inventory tools to SMBs which will drive efficiencies and cost savings,” Tingle said in a press release.
Singuli works with various e-commerce retailers across a number of industries. When it comes to growth, Kelly said the company will be focusing on awareness, vertical expansion, and new features over the next year.
Singuli’s leaders want to educate more people about how AI and machine learning can be beneficial in the retail industry. The company has been focused on fashion, apparel, and footwear verticals to-date, and Kelly said Singuli is excited about expanding into other verticals, including vitamins+supplements, wellness, home decor, beauty and electronics.
“Modern commerce brands tell us they have a bunch of problems related to inventory decisions, including how to ship, how to price, new product launch quantities, in season management and allocation,” Kelly said. “One of the necessary ingredients to solve these problems well is a great forecast and we’re looking forward to showing how our platform can be applied here.”
Singuli currently has four employees, and Kelly said the company hopes to grow to a team of 10 to 15 over the next year.
Harlem Capital leading this seed round for Singuli comes after the venture capital firm closed a $134 million second fund, which AfroTech previously reported in late March 2021.
Some notable companies that the firm has invested in include Workchew, CashDrop, and Malomo. As it eyes more growth, Harlem Capital also recently welcomed two new hires: Melody Hahm, the firm’s platform and community manager, and Tonna Obaze, the firm’s chief of staff and investor.