June 27, 2014
Sam Sinai, founder of SupplyBid, tells me that it can be very difficult for electrical manufacturers and contractors to get the components they need or make good use of their excess inventory. Part of that issue comes from the fact that technology and entrepreneurship has left this niche industry behind.
That’s what SupplyBid seeks to fix though, as they cater specifically to the needs of contractors and manufacturers. The omni-channel b2b platform instantly connects electrical distributors and contracts to buy and sell electrical products, parts, and supplies.
However, SupplyBid is still relatively young, and I wanted to talk with Sinai more about where he plans on steering this company further down the road.
Tech Cocktail: Where did you get the idea for SupplyBid?
Sam Sinai: My partner and I were in the manufacturing industry, making lighting for a living. We had developed a very successful company, but our industry was one of the last industries to integrate with modern technology.
We wanted to build a b2b platform that provided transparency and visibility for buyers, and everything we designed was inspired by our experiences in the lighting industry. For example, we knew that it’s difficult to get products sold in different market channels.
Building the back end to make it easy for anybody to come in and use the platform was tough, but we’re getting a lot of people saying that they’ve been waiting for a b2b platform like this for years.
Tech Cocktail: What has your early success looked like?
Sinai: We’ve been able to establish major traction while signing up manufacturers for the platform. The associations we partner with have thousands of people involved and they’re all using SupplyBid as a way to get their components.
If you look at eBay, you see that it’s focused on consumer electronics. SupplyBid, on the other hand, is industrial focused and driven. The only other company that does that is AliBaba, but we’re going to do what they do better; we’re going to be the AliBaba on steroids.
That means we have to be on point with marketing, and in our industry marketing is all about relationships. Once we build enough traction we can scale it to a bigger b2b platform and then target other industries.
Tech Cocktail: What’s your funding strategy?
Sinai: We know for a fact that this is going to be a multi-billion dollar company and we’ve got investors lined up to fund the company. However, for the time being we’ve decided to turn down funding, even a $20 million investment, because we don’t need it and want to remain bootstrapped.
Our control and focus of SupplyBid is on track, and we don’t want to relinquish our hold over it just yet. When you raise money you have to scale really quickly, and that kind of puts the pull on your company culture structure.
Organic growth is what we’re going for over quick scaling, making sure the foundation of SupplyBid is strong before making major moves. And we aren’t interested in small amounts of money – we want the big stuff.
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