Volition, the first and only online industrial parts marketplace tailored for the hardware development sector, has successfully raised $11 million in a seed funding round. The round was led by Newark Venture Partners and Quiet Capital, with significant participation from investors such as Lachy Groom, Alan Rutledge, Julian Capital, and Humba (Susa) Ventures.
Volition aims to revolutionize the $2 trillion industrial components industry by providing a centralized platform for engineering and purchasing teams to easily find and procure the parts required for prototyping and manufacturing designs. The company’s co-founder and CEO, Nick Pinkston, emphasized the time-consuming nature of searching for the right components and highlighted the need for a comprehensive solution. To address this, Volition has partnered with industrial distributors and leveraged its scalable data technology to build the world’s largest catalog of components, currently totaling over 16 million products.
The industrial distribution sector has lagged behind the broader eCommerce revolution, particularly for the 400,000 small and niche suppliers in the industry. These suppliers often lack the resources to create sophisticated online stores tailored to their customers’ technical requirements, resulting in time-consuming and inefficient processes. Volition addresses this issue by enabling customers to search and filter through an extensive collection of products, narrowing down to the ones that meet their precise specifications. This level of customization and specificity has not been achievable on generic marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba due to the complexity of structured product data.
To achieve its goal, Volition has developed a unique product data engine that can upload and standardize a vast amount of supplier product content at an unprecedented scale. This system utilizes automation and AI to empower human experts in creating a high-quality catalog efficiently. By solving this challenge, Volition can effectively organize the entire range of products in the industrial components industry, making them easily searchable and purchasable in one centralized location.
The company has already attracted numerous customers from the Fortune 500 and beyond, collectively spending hundreds of millions of dollars annually on these components. Additionally, Volition has secured partnerships with a wide range of distributors, who currently sell billions of dollars worth of products, to list their complete catalogs on the platform. The recent funding round will enable Volition to further expand its marketplace and develop new features that enhance sourcing capabilities while significantly increasing customer retention.
Tom Wisniewski, Managing Partner at NVP, emphasized the current demand for modernizing and streamlining B2B commerce. He expressed confidence in Volition’s ability to drive significant growth by addressing the specific needs of low-tech teams within a vertical market through their marketplace model.
Volition was founded by Nick Pinkston, Natalie Klapper, and Duffy Tilleman, who previously worked together at Plethora, where they developed the world’s first “self-configuring” factory. With a background in manufacturing and a lifelong passion for hardware, the founders are committed to simplifying hardware development processes. Nick, in particular, has been an entrepreneur in the manufacturing technology space and has a mission to make hardware development as accessible as software development.
Founded in 2019, Volition aims to accelerate hardware innovation by serving as a comprehensive hub for all industrial components worldwide.