Online Tech Competition Heating Up
Online Tech Competition Heating Up
Illustrating the growing importance of technology, online team stores and other data-driven efforts within the team sports business, the two leading providers of these technologies had some significant announcements this month leading up to the Sports, Inc. buying show in Las Vegas.
OrderMyGear Acquires DistributorCentral
First, OrderMyGear (OMG), based in Dallas, announced the acquisition of DistributorCentral, a technology provider for suppliers and distributors in the promotional products industry, to further position itself in the branded merchandise ecosystem.
The addition of DistributorCentral expands the technology solutions available to the more than 4000 promotional product distributors, apparel decorators and team dealers using OMG online stores. It also allows OMG to provide product data management and advertising solutions to suppliers, many of whom struggle to manage and distribute product data across various channels with unique formatting requirements.
“Product data is at the core of OMG online stores. It’s also a difficult element of the tech stack to get right,” explains Leonid Rozkin, CEO of OrderMyGear. “Suppliers often don’t have the resources to manage their product data across countless channels or to become PromoStandards compliant so their data is available in the industry standard format. With DistributorCentral, OMG will be able to provide the best technology paired with the highest quality product data.”
DistributorCentral tools included in OMG’s acquisition include product search, eCommerce and order management for distributors, as well as product listing and advertising, product data management, and PromoStandards data transformation and distribution via OneSource for suppliers.
Chipply Receives Growth Equity Investment
More recently, Chipply, another team store platform for team dealers, received a minority growth equity investment from Growth Street Partners. Chipply will use the investment “to extend its technology lead, support its legendary service team and position the company for growth.”
Chipply’s platform helps team dealers, custom apparel decorators and corporate suppliers grow faster and more efficiently through customer service, dramatically improved sales rep productivity and simple but sophisticated e-commerce tools for its dealers and their customers. As part of its own independent review, Growth Street conducted an extensive market survey and found Chipply has the industry’s highest NPS rating.
Chipply was founded in 2016 by three siblings, Lynn, Carl and Brian Burghardt. The Burghardt family has owned and operated a sporting goods store, Burghardt Sporting Goods (BSG), for more than 140 years. The Chipply solution was commercialized in 2018 and has grown dramatically since, processing hundreds of millions of dollars of gross merchandise value for hundreds of dealers nationwide.
“Chipply is very excited about what this investment means for customers. We are all committed to providing the same amazing service under the same leadership and accelerating our goal to provide best in class software solutions for industries we have worked in for many years,” says Angie Hardwick, CEO of Chipply.
Growth Street Partners provides early growth capital to growing SaaS and technology-enabled services companies addressing underserved markets. The firm partners with founders who have personally lived through the problems their businesses solve. The firm has raised two funds and has over $200 million of assets under management. Recent investments include Pear Deck (sold to GoGuardian), LineLeader (sold to Marlin Equity), Visual Lease (recap), Hotel Effectiveness (sold to Actabl), Suralink (recap), HR Acuity (recap), Govenda, PikMyKid, Public Input, uConnect, goHappy, PSTrax, and ECFX.
In conjunction with the minority growth investment, Growth Street Partners will join the Board of Directors.