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London-based ecommerce waitlist and pre-order platform Purple Dot has raised $4m (£2.95m) in a funding round to expand its payment product, scale the business and hire new talent.

The funding was led by Unusual Ventures. Previous investors Connect Ventures, Moxxie Ventures and the family office of Indeed co-founder Paul Forster also participated in the round. The startup previously received £1.35m funding in November 2020.

Purple Dot was founded in 2019 by entrepreneurs Madeline Parra and John Talbott, who previously established Twizoo before exiting the business to UK unicorn Skyscanner in 2017.

Purple Dot’s end-to-end waitlist software is designed to help retailers manage demand and reduce waste. Its predictive analytics software calculates when ecommerce businesses can sell inventory before they arrive in the warehouse.

The startup claims this can maximise sales, build brand loyalty and give businesses access to demand data sooner. Ecommerce brands have typically followed traditional bricks-and-mortar retail models, where products must be in stock in the warehouse before they can be sold.

With increasing problems in global supply chains, many online brands have felt the financial impact stemming from stock delays. The software integrates with existing eommerce payment systems and is used by brands including SPOKE London and Lisa Says Gah.

“By selling earlier, brands open up a whole new window to capture sales. The legacy mindset and technology assumes you need inventory in the warehouse to sell it,” said Madeline Parra, CEO and co-founder of Purple Dot.

“But with Purple Dot, you can always be selling because selling and shipping can be asynchronous. We’re excited to be pioneering waitlist shopping as the solution to selling earlier and providing ecommerce brands with a platform to re-imagine when, how, and what they sell.”

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