There’s little doubt that technology is upending commerce. It started with fairly simple online product catalogs and purchasing in the late 90s but has progressed to touch every aspect of the retail business. And as that disruption occurs, enormous businesses have been built by enabling new and old market participants to keep up with competition and consumer demands. Online stores, payments, logistics, product reviews and many other commerce components have been productized for scale. As brands and retailers build relationships directly with consumers through delivery of products, there is another key requirement that has emerged - quality, cost-effective packaging. Especially for brands that exist primarily online, that packaging *is* the storefront. No company understands that better than Lumi. Lumi is building the scalable packaging supply chain for ecommerce retailers and brands. We’re thrilled to announce our earlier seed investment in the company, followed now by Lumi’s $9.0 million Series A financing from Spark Capital and Forerunner Ventures.
WHO: Jesse Genet, CEO, and Stephan Ango, CTO, are long-time business partners and co-founders of Lumi. They started their careers building their own product company, leading them to experience the pain of packaging firsthand. Starting and growing a product company also helped them develop empathy for their future customers, creative individuals like them who are trying to introduce their products to the world. As we got to know the team several years ago, it became clear that they has insights about customer needs and the packaging market opportunity that others couldn’t yet see. Plus, they cared more about tape and boxes than any other people we had ever met. Together, they form a team that combines empathy for the customer, creative energy, business know-how and technical excellent in a way that the packaging industry has never experienced.
WHAT: Lumi is AWS for packaging. Any commerce company of any size can turn to Lumi to design, source and manufacture the packaging it needs to deliver its products and delight its customers. By transforming a traditionally paper, fax, phone and email process into well-designed software, Lumi help brands and retailers (from moms and pops to the Fortune 500) save money, reduce lead times and improve the quality associated with their packaging.
HOW: Lumi has developed the concept of networked manufacturing, bringing factories and retailers online and connecting them through elegant software. Every packaging item is abstracted into specifications and the best factory for each job is picked based on cost, quality and lead time. Lumi’s network allows commerce companies to have packaging manufactured within 50 miles of nearly any distribution center in the United States. That system leads to improved reliability, sustainability and costs while delivering beautiful packaging that delights customers. At the end of it all, customers have a fully-optimized and scalable packaging supply chain that enables them to focus on the core of their business, the products they are creating and selling.
WHY: Jesse and Stephan believe that the same scale and efficiencies helping commerce companies in the digital world can be achieved in the physical world. By turning packaging and logistics into a service, they’re supporting their version of the Bottom Up Economy. We believe that they’re building a company that can transform the commerce landscape, enabling companies of all sizes to achieve excellent in packaging while not having to focus on it. Retail is being reimagined by technology. And Lumi is rethinking a critical component of the retail industry. We are beyond excited to partner with the Lumi team as they create the next great commerce platform.