Sustainability

Sustainable e-comm startup Cerqular wants to build a platform for “version two of shopping”

The company closed a $1 million pre-seed round.
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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We’ve been online shopping long enough to recognize the environmental impact, factoring in things like packaging waste, shipping emissions, and frictionless 24/7 consumption. Cerqular, which just closed a $1 million pre-seed round, wants to build an e-commerce platform for “version two of shopping,” cofounder and CEO David Friedrichs told us.

Cerqular offers an ecosystem of sustainable brands—across apparel, beauty, grocery, and more (its range is part of the pitch)—selling products that come with clear “end-of-life solutions” (like upcycling, recycling, and resale options), as well as carbon-neutral shipping. The company’s definition of “sustainable” also includes organic, vegan, and eco-friendly goods.

  • After rolling out in the US last year, Cerqular has grown to 135+ verified brands and 50,000+ products.

“We connect the dots at every touchpoint of a product’s lifecycle,” Friedrichs explained. “The power of change really lies in our spending dollars, but unfortunately, sustainable everything remains so inaccessible.”

  • Friedrichs said he noticed the disconnect both as a consumer and on the seller side, when he created several sustainable brands.

This, not that: Cerqular distinguishes itself as a “platform,” rather than just a “marketplace,” giving brands inventory management, fulfillment, and logistics tools to sell their goods sustainably. The company will use its fresh funding to invest in more tech, UX, and brand and user growth to make Cerqular a seamless one-stop-shop. It hopes to reach 1,000+ brands and land more funding within a year.

Whole new world: Friedrichs is focused on “becoming a big engine to cause big change,” but the biggest challenge, he mentioned, will be competing with an internet filled with cheaper conventional products.

  • “Back in 1994, when Amazon launched, it was still of great value to people,” Friedrichs said. “But I think there’s a whole new era approaching.”—JG
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