Rutter raises $1.5M to fund its e-commerce API
Rutter, a remote first company, is creating an unified ecommerce API that allows companies to connect with any data on any platform.
Friday saw the company announce that it had raised $1.5 million from investors, including Haystack and Liquid 2, to emerge from stealth.
Eric Yu and Peter Zhou, founders, met at school. They started to work on Rutter (which Zhou called Plaid for commerce) in 2017, before moving through the summer 2019 Y Combinator cohort.
While working in education technology, they came across the idea of an e-commerce API. They were developing subscription kits and learning materials to help parents worry about their children's education during the global pandemic. After their vendors had difficulties listing their stores on Amazon, they created scripts to assist them. However, they found that each platform required their own scripts.
Customers only need one script with Rutter to connect anywhere. Yu explained to TechCrunch that Rutter's APIs can connect to ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Walmart, and Amazon, so tech customers can create functions such as chatbots and customer support.
Lan Xuezhao is the founding partner and managing partner at Basis Set Ventures. She said via email that Rutter was her first choice because of its founders' passion, grit, and speed in iterating to a product. It reminded her of another team who built a successful business from zero to $7 billion.
After following them (Rutter), for a few decades, it became clear that what they created was powerful: It is the central nervous system of online eCommerce, Xuezhao said.
According to the founders, there are two major explosions in ecommerce. The platform side is the adoption of headless eCommerce, which separates front and back-end functions on an ecommerce site. New companies are also coming in support of merchants.
Yu and Zhou will be able to expand their team with the new funding, which will also allow them to hire more engineers.
Yu didn't disclose any revenue metrics as the company was officially launched at the start of the year. However, Yu said that Rutters API volume had doubled and tripled in the past few months. It also supports merchants who connect with more than 5,000 stores.
Rutters rivals are only building one aspect, such as returns and warranties, but Yu stated that Shopify is aiming to go beyond the marketplace, becoming the unified app store that merchants can use to find the products they need.
Zhou said that the ecommerce stack of merchants will in the future look similar to the SaaS stack at a software company. We are the glue that will hold that stack together for merchants.