UP005: F13 Works // extending the aisle in ecommerce

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Chris Sentz: 00:00:00

Part of it is just the launching, getting punched in the face, right? I mean, you have to realize that you can plan for so much. You get in the ring, somebody hits you and you okay. You adjust your game and keep going. At it.

Jay Clouse: 00:00:11

Startup investment landscape is changing and world class companies are being built outside of Silicon Valley. We find them. Talk with them and discuss the upside of investing in them. Welcome to upside.

Eric Hornung: 00:00:38

Hello. Hello. Hello and welcome to upside podcast. We’re finding upside outside of Silicon Valley. I’m Eric Hornung and I’m accompanied by my cohost, Mr. unreal collective himself. Jay Klaus. We haven’t talked about it yet and I wanted to bring it up. Unreal. Collective. Jay, how’s it going, man?

Jay Clouse: 00:01:00

Good. We just wrapped up our second cohort of unreal collective 12 weeks. Just ended this past Friday. We have our showcase tomorrow as we’re recording this, which is a Monday. Yeah, it went really well. I’m really stoked with the different businesses that have grown throughout the 12 weeks. The different projects that have taken off. We had one member kill a project that he was working on, which I also mark is a win to say, hey, I went out and did the work and did the validation to find out what the market wants and what it would take to do this and I don’t want to do that. I think that’s great.

Eric Hornung: 00:01:30

That’s pretty cool. Well, we won’t dive too deep into unreal collective, but today we do have a company that’s working in Internet ecommerce and I know that you have built your business at least primarily online and through digital mediums, so I think that it’s interesting that there might be some overlap here, but it’s also gonna be very different because this is more of a productized business and yours is more. How would you describe it?

Jay Clouse: 00:01:58

Totally. Well, I mean it’s just, it’s a virtual accelerator, so I mean we have weekly calls, but there’s no product ties aspect of it yet to come soon. My friend, which I’m excited about, but yeah, our, our guests today, back at it with another marketplace. We seem to love marketplaces here on upside.

Eric Hornung: 00:02:18

Absolutely. I mean they have the most upside. That’s what we’ve been told before we get into that and who our guest is. Jay, do you want to give the audience a little understanding of why we’re here?

Jay Clouse: 00:02:28

Absolutely. So this is the upside podcast where we like to shine a light on founders outside of Silicon Valley. We fundamentally believe that there are great businesses being built here all over the country outside of the valley with very intelligent, resilient capital efficient entrepreneurs and eric and I are lucky to meet those people and day to day life and so we said let’s bring that to the rest of the world and show the country, show the world what’s going on here in places like Ohio and Minnesota and St Louis and Kansas City all over the place.

Eric Hornung: 00:02:58

Yeah. And we’re going to do through a little bit of a unique format. So for the first 15 minutes or so, Jay and I are going to riff on some research that we did independently of each other and talk about the things that we’re excited to talk about and ask about in the interview. So that’s the second part, about an hour, we’ll talk with the founder, ask them questions on themselves, their business, the market and outlook, and then finally we’ll wrap up with a debrief. That’ll be another 15, 20 minutes and we’ll talk about that when we get to the end. Jay, who are we talking to today?

Jay Clouse: 00:03:31

Today we are talking to Chris Sentz. Chris Sentz is the founder and CEO of F13 Works in Columbus, Ohio. Chris has a background in the development and implementation of customer facing growth initiatives including marketing, interactive communications and market development strategies for the ECOMMERCE consumer in high tech industries. Prior to F13 Works , Chris was a president at screened a Columbus ecommerce company. He has spent time at dynamic as well as blind acre at 13. Works bridges the gap between manufacturers and ECOMMERCE websites. It provides manufacturers drop shippers in order fulfillers of all types with a connection to millions of online stores. Orders from third party sites will seamlessly enter their production process and payments will be automatically processed. A lot of alliteration with ps there. Eric, we’re gonna have to get pop filter soon,

Eric Hornung: 00:04:18

so they also have a podcast that is called the product pain points, podcasts and all I was thinking was, man, we really should have invested in those

Jay Clouse: 00:04:28

but I’m excited, you know, my, my, my understanding of F13 works from reading some articles, talking to Chris, listening to some interviews with him is sort of an Amazon effication of different online stores. He calls it extending the aisle. Uh, did you come across this, Eric?

Eric Hornung: 00:04:45

I did and I wouldn’t call it an Amazon suffocation at all. So That’s interesting that we have such a right up front difference in our understanding. So looking at the extending the aisle, that to me feels like, okay, if I was a brick and mortar store and let’s just take where the actual metaphor comes from. If I was a brick and mortar store and I had an aisle of toys, I only have so much physical space that I can put those toys in. Extending the aisle. I can keep toys in that space. Right. So if you think about one of the websites that he’s working with, which seems to be maybe something like, I think about like a gallon tree, I don’t know if you’ve ever used gallantry it’s a never. Okay. So it’s like a site for like men’s accessories, bags, uh, and it’s all curated. So whenever they can find a new bag or brand that works with them, they’ll add it to the site. And I just really liked the feel and the vibe and everything on there. Now Amazon seems to be more of like the everything store or like an endless aisle almost. And we might even hear Chris say that word. So I think that that’s a little bit of the difference that they’re going for is Chris wants to help firms extend the aisle, not have endless aisles. Yeah.

Jay Clouse: 00:06:00

Probably an oversimplification on my, on my end, but the idea of, let’s say I have a shopify store and I have a brand that has loyal customers and I sell t shirts. My customers may be interested in buying other items from me that I don’t manufacture and sell directly or handle the inventory. And so F13 works plugs into my online store to match me with other items that I can sell through my online store to my loyal customers that I don’t have to take on inventory risk, but I also don’t have to give my customers a reason to leave the site to buy other things. I can take a cut of that transaction.

Eric Hornung: 00:06:33

Yeah, it’s almost like centralized drop shipping in a way. In that way

Jay Clouse: 00:06:38

I believe they have some roots in drop shipping, so I’m interested to hear from him some of the history of F13 works because I know that for awhile they were also creating one off shopify apps and now they have a centralized shopify app that works this way. So what’s interesting to me about this is that it does currently seem to be predicated on shopify stores as a shopify APP, which I’m not sure of a business at scale that is kind of predicated on a. on a shopify APP. Do you have any examples or what do you think?

Eric Hornung: 00:07:13

I don’t have any examples, but I do have some questions. The shopify APP that you just referred to, I wasn’t aware that they only had one based on their twitter bio. They have four, so I would like to get a little bit of clarification on that and also their network that they promote on their website. I want to get a little bit of an understanding on that. Is that just the shopify network that they have access to or is it a proprietary network that they’re building across platforms? I didn’t really get a feel for that. It was something like 300,000 stores, 10 billion in gross merchandise value and like 130 million and something ese i forget what that was.

Jay Clouse: 00:07:52

Yeah. My. My impression was that that was pulling numbers from shopify. I know I listened to an interview from February 2018 with Chris and he mentioned they were accessing 650,000 stores at this point through the shopify network. So interested to hear what their distribution is. It’s a two sided marketplace. So what is the volume of supply and demand my guests as it always is that they are focused on building up a supply. Yep. And so I’m interested to hear what their strategy for doing that is. My guess is that their cost drivers are few and that their overhead’s pretty low given that this is completely online, they’re creating a technology that works through shopify. I’m guessing their, their overhead is physical space for their office, their headcount, probably people who are account managers or bringing on a strategic partners. So that’s good news that you know, that helps create a longer longer runway. Obviously the retail ecommerce space is huge. Number I saw was something like $462,000,000,000 in 2018 will be spent in the retail ecommerce space. So room for a lot of players.

Eric Hornung: 00:09:03

What percentage of that is Amazon?

Jay Clouse: 00:09:05

Oh Gosh. I don’t know. Do you have a guess?

Eric Hornung: 00:09:07

I, I didn’t listen. I actually have their letter right here so I could probably find there. I read Amazon’s letter.

Jay Clouse: 00:09:13

That’s amazing.

Eric Hornung: 00:09:15

It doesn’t say in the top line with their revenues, but I’m sure it’s massive.

Jay Clouse: 00:09:19

Yeah. So giant elephant in the room. Amazon’s got to be a competitor here. Right. Wonder how else he considers competition. I know that he’s thinking of this as kind of an unlocking potential for both sides of the marketplace and so he probably has a different take on competition than just saying Amazon is a competitor, but at the end of the day, all of his brands that are on the platform who have their loyal audiences and who drive people to their website, their competition is Amazon and if he’s powering these brands, then by extension I would say His competition is the likes of Amazon and Walmart. Everyone else in that space. What do you think?

Eric Hornung: 00:09:55

Yeah, I agree. I think that. So they did on their website there was a video and the one of the last slides kind of laid out where retailers can be spending their money. Right? So there’s brick and mortar stores or sorry, where retailers are going to get their revenues from brick and mortar stores. Amazon Slash Ebay branded stores like gallon tree and I think that’s the market they’re focusing on and then their own personal stores. So one example might be Herschel bags. I have one right here. So Herschel bags might sell. Some of it’s like cheaper older models on Amazon, they might sell some exclusive things with partnerships with macy’s, they might sell the core and all of their current line at something like Herschelbags.com or Herschel.com and then there’s all of these specialty stores like a gallon tree where they could actually place their bags because it aligns with the customer and type of person who shops at that specific store. So I think he’s trying to grow. We see this phenomenon right now in retail ecommerce of like niche markets and you and I are both fans of Tropical Mba, so I think maybe it’s a little overblown because we both listened to it all the time, but that, that niche website space is kind of blowing up as like a almost like revolt to the Amazons of the world. So I think this is a way to help grow them by giving a menu of potential products that are out there that may be they could pick for their business and be thoughtful about.

Jay Clouse: 00:11:35

Yeah. Shopify is such an interesting environment to me. Another friend of mine is heavy into the shopify space and he’s convinced that a lot of the future of ecommerce is this continued niching down and he says as entrepreneurs there a huge opportunity for you to take niche products, spin up a brand around them and get really good at digital advertising and in kind of cash in on this drop shipping model where you don’t even have to handle skews. You just create the brand you white label the products and sell them through and that’s something that probably isn’t a huge focus for F13 works to power people like that, but as an individual that is absolutely something you could do with F13 works is create a shopify store and really just sell the products of other people who were plugging their products into F13 Works and Bada Bing, Bada boom. You’ve got an online business.

Eric Hornung: 00:12:22

Yeah. I’m actually pretty fascinated to hear a couple of things. One, what is their business model? Are they charging percentage of whatever is sold or they charging like a placement fee to. They say that stores are allowed to whole from F13 works kind of. I call it a database, it’s probably not what they call it, catalog catalog, so they can pull any of the products that are on F13 Works catalog, are they also pushing products because that would be interesting if manufacturers could also pay to kind of promote their products almost and then finally looking at kind of their kpis, what are their costs to kind of acquire a customer on the demand side and there was one other one and I just blanked on it.

Jay Clouse: 00:13:13

This is one of my favorite things when I do research and I can answer a question that you have a couple of things that I found on the model. They have a sas fee, a monthly monthly service fee on both sides of the marketplace, which seems to be their main revenue driver. He says they also make a very small percentage on transactions, very small percentage in quotation marks, is what he said and obviously the hope there is to make that up on a huge volume of transactions. Third Lever that he has mentioned is that there are levels of capabilities as he called it where different retailers will pay extra to have, exclusivity is for certain products.

Eric Hornung: 00:13:51

Cool. And I did remember my final thing based on what you just said, so thank you. Conversion rate. So what is their conversion rate from? They have this big catalog of however many products, how many you’re actually getting pulled down and then how many are actually getting sold because that to me is going to be. Those are good. That’s gonna be the most important number in this business.

Jay Clouse: 00:14:10

All right, well you ready to talk to Chris?

Eric Hornung: 00:14:12

Yeah, I’m excited by it. Let’s jump in. Let’s do it.

Jay Clouse: 00:14:18

Chris, welcome to the show.

Chris Sentz: 00:14:19

Hey, thanks for having me. Really appreciate it. Guys.

Jay Clouse: 00:14:22

Can you tell us in your own words how F13 Works ? Works?

Chris Sentz: 00:14:29

Works Square, right? So yeah, after teamworks is a software solution that connects suppliers and retailers. So with any commerce you have these huge players like Amazon, Walmart, even your Zappos of the world. And what they’ve done to take over the world of ECOMMERCE is they’ve said, hey, I can’t possibly sell everything my customers want, so I’m going to extend my aisle and I’m going to sell things that other people send to my customers, which is the idea of drop shipping. And this was reserved for really a few sites. I mean for a very long time. It was like 15 to 25 sites. Huge mega sites, you know, like, like the ones I mentioned that we’re doing this and it, it was reserved just for them really. There weren’t a lot of other ways for people to do this. So we’ve found that their team works to help as a solution. So if you’re an ecommerce store, you can add products to really round out your product selection, own your space more so than you can by buying the merchandise inventory and figuring all that out. And if you’re a supplier. So if you have a products, the beautiful thing is you have a new distribution channel and that’s really powerful because you can right now sell in brick and mortars. You can sell on your own website. You might pull us on Ebay or Amazon, but if you can sell through hundreds of thousands of independent ecommerce sites, almost like boutiques, you can reach an audience. You can get your message across in a way that that’s very difficult to do these days.

Jay Clouse: 00:15:58

So Chris, can you tell us about how you came up with F13 Works ? What was the moment that made that business and that idea click for you to see this as a need?

Chris Sentz: 00:16:06

Yeah, it was any that I had. So I was working with a company that primarily to tee shirt sales and they brought me in about eight years into their history to help them grow and you know, there’s a couple of ways to grow. It’s customer acquisition or you get more value out of your existing customers. Those are the easiest two and getting value out of existing customers was the name of the game and you know when he went about it, ask our customers what they’d like to buy from us. Other than t shirts. Overwhelmingly positive response for a couple of other products. It was really easy to find suppliers of these products, but to get their products on our site and figure out who gets paid for what, how we can track orders was just a nightmare. So the light bulb went off and you know, that the rest was history. So I started asking, you know, within my network, Hey, is this something everyone else is running into? Is it just us? I figured it was probably fairly universal, uh, and it ended up being absolutely as ubiquitous everyone wanted to sell and other sites and almost every site we talked to one or more products for their customers.

Jay Clouse: 00:17:14

So what do you think was the divide for that
not existing prior to F13 Works ? Because if both sides of the marketplace are hungry for this, where was the lack of communication to understand how that could work?

Chris Sentz: 00:17:27

Yeah, it was right place right time. So a lot of people are getting around this and hack ish approaches. So Jay, you’d have a product, I’d have a website and I’d be sending you emails daily saying, Hey, here’s some orders. Could you fulfill them? Really not scalable solutions were out there with the advent of things like shopify and woocommerce becoming really popular, all of a sudden you had consistent platforms that lots of shops were on. You know, 10 years ago this would have been almost impossible because everyone had to custom build their own ecommerce site. There’s really no uniformity with shopify exploding with woocommerce becoming a little bit better than it had been and Magento two coming out and big commerce. All of a sudden you have 12 ecommerce platforms that make up 75 to 80 percent of all ecommerce sites and so all of a sudden a software solution like this became a real thing. Before this, it would have been, I’m going to create a software solution half to one off, you know, plug it into each and every ecommerce site and that’s not a great solution.

Jay Clouse: 00:18:29

Okay, that’s interesting. So can you explain to me as a brand partner that wants to integrate F13 into my website, what does that look like? What’s that experience look like for me?

Chris Sentz: 00:18:42

Yeah. So from the supplier side or the retailer side,

Jay Clouse: 00:18:45

from the retailer side,

Eric Hornung: 00:18:47

can we define those terms? Are the audience?

Chris Sentz: 00:18:50

Absolutely. So we call suppliers brands or product companies, so people who can send products to end customers. So you know, we have people like a grip one grip Matt, you know, who have a slug line of niche products, a very hyper specific audience all the way to large distributors who have, you know, 10,000 plus Sku’s that they want to get out the door. So those are the supplier side. And then on the other side is a retail partners, a retailer is somebody with an ecommerce site and these guys come in all shapes and sizes from a mom and pop. Someone who just read, Hey, I can make money online. I wanted to start an ecommerce store to very sophisticated retailers doing hundreds of millions of dollars a year in ecommerce. Some of them have brick and mortar, andy commerce as well. So it’s a decent mix of people right now we only plug into shopify. I will be on woocommerce next, that will be within the next few months here. But shopify, it’s super easy, so if you’re a retailer, you simply go to the APP marketplace similar to if you’re familiar with wordpress, they have plugins for shopify, just calls their plugins apps and we have a bunch of different apps. The big one for us as product pro, it’s the one that we control. Everything else we do is really just people leveraging our technology for their own apps. But with product pro, you download the APP, it plugs into your store and you get to go through a product catalog, so you get to search for whatever type of product that you’d like to add to your store. It adds pictures, descriptions, titles, pricing. You can tweak those to fit your brand if you need to. And a lot of the savvy retailers are doing just that. And then we sit there and track. So whenever a product that we put on your site is ordered, we’re going to trigger a fulfillment on our supplier side. Then we’re going to track that, send the tracking number down to the ecommerce site, which is then going to send that to the the actual customer,

Eric Hornung: 00:20:51

what’s the conversion? And conversion funnel look like on that, how many products are on product grow, how many are selected to be put on sites and then how many from there and a percentage basis or whatever are actually purchased.

Chris Sentz: 00:21:05

That’s a great question. Our analytics are definitely a weakness within our application. I’d have to admit just because we move so fast. So there were two year old company we started just with white labels. So it was really like, Hey, here’s software you can get your own app, go and do with it what you’d like. We found that a lot of people didn’t really want their own app necessarily. So it takes a pretty sophisticated and large operation to really handle all of that. So we released product pro in mid January of 2018, so it’s a newer venture for us and we’ve grown it about tenfold every month. So it’s been exponential growth and the focus has been growing the technology with, with the user growth rather than. Let’s perfect everything. Uh, but to give you an idea, our average supplier is working with about a hundred partners. We have, uh, we have over 100 suppliers, there are 10,000 users on the platform, so obviously some of these suppliers are working with thousands and thousands of, of retailers and then as far as product penetration goes, we’re putting so many products on, you know, I don’t have a very clear view into that at this point. That’s something that we definitely want to get more our heads better around.

Jay Clouse: 00:22:27

Can you explain to me when you say 10,000 users on the platform, is that 10,000 people who have made a purchase through product pro or is that 10,000 supplier partners?

Chris Sentz: 00:22:37

Oh, it’s 10,000 retailers. So it’s a B to b to c play. So we have the supplier’s products are sitting basically in our software and then the other b would be the retailers who are pulling those on their site and then the consumer would come into the retailer site and purchase it. So it’s 10,000 of those retailers who are downloading the APP and putting products onto their site.

Eric Hornung: 00:23:01

And that 10 x month to month growth is something on the retail side as well.

Chris Sentz: 00:23:06

Yeah, that’s, that’s our biggest growth. I mean, it’s amazing how many people are looking for this. We, we have our biggest competitors is called Oberlo and they have an interesting play. They started probably six months, nine months before we did a really got to market very quickly because what they did is they just scraped aliexpress. So whereas we have relationships with our suppliers, uh, they, they just simply scraped it. It’s a brilliant move. It’s just a different move. So the problem with scraping it is there’s nobody checking, uh, so you’re looking at 30 to 40 percent issue rate on orders, which is not great. And a lot of people don’t know to build that into their margins. So when we came to the market with, hey, we have these vetted suppliers, almost all of them are based in the United States, uh, with our products. So they might not be US companies, but their products are so sitting in the United States, the market really likes that is very welcome to ecommerce stores who are saying, well, my customer is not willing to wait for 30 to 45 days for a product a and then get the wrong product or have a product never show up without any recourse.

Eric Hornung: 00:24:13

You mentioned they have 30 percent plus issue rate on orders. What is, like you said, it’s not great. What is like a good or great issue rate in this space?

Chris Sentz: 00:24:23

Uh, it shouldn’t be under five years percent. I mean we have very occasional issues and when we have issues it is something like print on demand company that we work with, sent out a shirt that had a small issue with the print. Oftentimes issues on, on our competitor sites are either have outright fraud, which happens, you know, they’re scraping a site so they don’t check that this listing on aliexpress is legitimate listing or translation. You’re talking about lots of parties into it. A lot of people who are on Ali Express aren’t actually creating the products. So they are kind of these people in China who are going to factories and cutting deals and there a middleman who then posts stuff to aliexpress and then there’s another middle man picking that up. Then that there’s another middleman. I’m putting that on a site and somebody else buying it. So a big thick middle there means between Mandarin and English and all the parties that it’s really easy to order a a pink tee shirt and get a black pen. Had no idea there was no fraud that people thought. But Hey, along the way somebody just missed translated it. Now my customer is upset

Jay Clouse: 00:25:30

and I would assume that’s. That’s a pretty big reputational risk for these websites, right? Because if they’re extending their aisle and they say, I have customers coming to me and buying my products, they love them. I want to give them more products. But every time they buy those products, as an unsavvy consumer, I might not know the difference between what is coming directly from this brand that I appreciate and not. But if I have an issue a third of the time that I buy something that that would be a problem. I’m assuming you, you hear that from your customers.

Chris Sentz: 00:26:00

We hear amazing stories. He loved my, one of my favorites is we have a great partner now, but they were using Oberlo and they were very sophisticated. So these guys had relationships with their Chinese suppliers via overload and they took them kind of through Ali Express and it had a direct relationship with them and they had 3000 units that were misfilled. So what happened is there was a factory in China that was fulfilling these. And one day the guy woke up and had too many orders. So he just sold the orders to a different factory and there was no recourse. So unfortunately it took 3000 customers receiving these in November, December of 2017. And this retailer’s screwed. I mean, their, their reputation was tanked. This is a growing company. They grew from almost nothing to doing, you know, millions of dollars in business in about a five month span. So you talk about that ramp up, which is fantastic. And then it just all kind of plateaus and comes down because the reputation nobody wants to buy from you. If you’re facebook, you have hundreds of people saying this is a scam. They send out junk, people are contacting better business bureau. Your Google reviews or are terrible. So it was just tough. And they came to us with open arms. I said, oh my gosh, you guys could help fix it. This would never happen. You vet them and they’re us based. Right? So it wouldn’t take that 30 day plus turnaround before our customers even tell us that there was an issue or we’ve got your back. They’re a great partner now.

Eric Hornung: 00:27:36

So you guys put a little bit more in terms of time and resources into the upfront so that you mitigate your downside risk in the long term. What’s the general cost structure of F13 Works ? I’m assuming that that leads to increased costs on, on the upfront, but generally you have development costs, you have this kind of review costs. What other cost drivers are there in the business?

Chris Sentz: 00:28:01

Yeah, I mean for us it’s, it’s our, our staff, which is developers, sales and marketing folks and you know, hosting will certainly be a, a technology costs a bucket and then it’s going to be acquisition costs. So uh, right now we’re in a weird spot where we kind of blew up somewhat quickly with our latest APP releases and it’s fantastic, but we really want to get after the marketing efforts and our acquisition costs will definitely increase once our technology base catches up with our, our user base

Eric Hornung: 00:28:34

and acquisition cost, the acquisition cost to acquire a retailer or a supplier

Chris Sentz: 00:28:39

both. It’s on both sides but, but really we want to ramp up our retailers in our next phase. So right now we’ve found enough kind of buckets of suppliers that are really interested and they’re kind of queued up and many of them are just waiting to come on board, which is fantastic. And we continue to push that. Paul Tepenhart is actually leading our efforts on the supplier’s sales side and Oj knows, knows Paul better call Paul from better call Paul. And then on the flip side, it’s just getting the word out and letting people know that this app called product pro on shopify exists and if you’re not on shopify, you have some type of other ecommerce platform, let us know and we’ll put you will alert you as soon as we get to your ecommerce platform.

Jay Clouse: 00:29:27

So with shopify being such a large ecosystem itself, when you have new partners coming on board, are they finding you organically through the shopify store or how much of your acquisition is an active outbound effort?

Chris Sentz: 00:29:43

Right now it’s organic. We were somewhat lucky within our first 30 days. We were picked up by shopify to be featured on their front page. So that helped. They only put, you know, they put you on for seven days and flip you out. But now seven days we got a lot of traction and we’ve had kind of a trickle from that traction, you know, we’ve played around with ads are just a little bit. But right now where we’ve currently holding back until our software, you know, can really handle and scale up and sort the products really well. And give the best user experience there can be because we don’t want to double our users, um, or, or get to 100,000, which would be the tenfold increase that we’re looking forward to next. And, and have people walk away disappointed or with a bad taste in their mouth.

Eric Hornung: 00:30:27

So looking at 10 x growth to date, at least based on crunchbase, it looks like you guys have raised about $300,000 from to venture capital firms. What has that process looked like so far and what does it look like going forward?

Chris Sentz: 00:30:44

Yeah. So, uh, the raising money is wild, right? It takes patience. And we had an interesting situation. I’ve, I’ve been a part of a few startups, mostly traditional job background with agencies and the client side work in marketing and management. So this was my first time I’d ever had to take the lead on raising money and it was quite a learning experience for me. You know, we had some money offers early on and they, it looks good and feels really good when you go to market and you’re like, Hey, I’ve got this idea and people want to throw money at you. But I was very fortunate to kind of take a step back and talk to some people who’ve become mentors to me and say, hey, should I take this money early on? Should we kind of wait for the right money? What, what does this all look like? And so we kind of differed and ended up partnering with Red Hawk Ventures. Tim The CEO is on my board and at first he was really just a mentor to me. Somebody I go to and ask for advice and said, hey, what’s the right point to raise and how do we raise? And we worked on that for quite a while. Uh, in September we closed the first traunch of our first round a and we set it up to do basically a two traunch first round and based on goals. And those goals were really revenue base to maintain investor. Say Hey, we have a little bit of revenue now, but we think we can increase this very quickly and we did so in that really impressing investors. So we actually raised the rest of our first trial, ended closed in let’s say march, late February, early March of 2018. So we’re 600 and now and you know, we’re really looking to, our next big goal is to get to a point where we’re, we’re in control of our financial situation, you know, we’re making significantly more than we’re spending a get rid of that burn

Jay Clouse: 00:32:36

and everything you guys make at this point, your revenue is pretty much profit for you guys, right? Because you’re taking, I think I heard a monthly sas fee as well as some level of transactions. So can you talk about, talk about that model a little bit?

Chris Sentz: 00:32:52

Yeah. We have a sas fee on both sides, so both our suppliers and our retailers are paying us to have access to the program and then we take a very small percentage of the orders across our system. So, you know, think kind of credit card, ask fees. The idea is we don’t really want to increase the cost we want. The people are fulfilling the products to make a good cut. The people are selling and marketing those products to have a great cut. We just kind of minimal cut in between and really make money on really high volume. But yeah, it’s, it’s a model that works for us. I think it’s attractive to a lot of folks. The alternative, if you are a, you know, on the supplier side is to try and make an APP yourself and you know it’s going to be a lot more expensive than our sas ps or on the, on the retailer side. We have some competition now, but you know, the prices are similar in our product selection is just fantastic. We have some amazing supplier partners.

Jay Clouse: 00:33:46

Can you talk about some of those and give us some examples of who some of those supplier partners are?

Chris Sentz: 00:33:50

Yeah, yeah. Are we have a lot of breadth in some depth in different categories. So, you know, with within the apparel category, we have a handful of print on demand companies that do some, some great work within product pro e retailing is the exclusive supplier of apparel and they have some, some really cool products there. If you guys have been onto shopify before, you’re probably familiar with printful. These guys are, are better, you know, their prices are better, the quality is better. Uh, they have a lot of experience in this space, in there, right out of Columbus, Ohio, you know, we have a custom app that we made for tracks are as well that he has. It’s a private app right now that he has some of his clients on. He’s expanding that. It’s going to be a big piece of his business moving forwards. Um, but then again within product where we have a number of shark tank companies, so we mentioned a grip, Matt, we have cut buddy fiber fix four or five others. I’m not great with everyone who’s on there, but um, there is some kind of cool unique products like that. And then on the kind of more broad category products, we have everything from tense in bike accessories to jewelry and premade clothing, really stylish products, workout gear, so it’s extensive. The product catalog, the idea was we want to be the go to spot where people can find whatever they need for their site, uh, whether it’s uh, a large retailer or a small mom pops retailer, we should have something for you and it should be really quality product and a lot of them have cool unique stories to them as well.

Jay Clouse: 00:35:27

And do you find that supply is sort of your constraint? You mentioned some companies that are ready to go and jump on the platform and they’re just kind of waiting. Is driving supply of more products, one of your largest focuses,

Chris Sentz: 00:35:40

learn, just focus right now is development. So we built this and the user base increased very quickly and we found that we need to do things on the front end and on the back end to support those users that we just weren’t expecting to do so quickly. Some of that’s just categorizing or catalog better, you know, making things more findable. Uh, making it easier to get products on the site, sharing insights in a better fashion. If you have a store that sells shoes and we see that audience and we can say, hey, you should be selling these socks, um, there’s a really high likelihood that your audience would buy these products and we want to be offering this product suggestions. We want to really help people rather than just give them a book to look through essentially online. We want to be actively saying, hey, you sell this stuff. You should be selling this in aid, in their product selection and in a categorization. So that’s an area in which with a couple of users it’s easy, but once you start really cranking it up, you realize, okay, I have a ton of products and a okay user base, we can probably do better to connect these things together a little bit.

Jay Clouse: 00:36:50

So it’s not that the technology is breaking in any way. You just have users with a large array of needs right now that you haven’t had the time to develop.

Chris Sentz: 00:37:00

Certainly, certainly. And it’s not as fast as I’d like it to be. You know, it’s not breaking, but as far as speed goes, speeds the name of the game so you know, we need to speed up everything. We, we switched over to a Google cloud platform recently that’s helped, but again, being on GCP and optimizing for GCP are two different things, so there are a lot of incremental steps for us as far as just make it a better user experience, make it something that people are really excited about and we want to be class leaders in this stuff. We know that our products are leaders, you know, every product company, every supplier that we work with is amazing. Is really top of the class in whatever product category they’re in. We want the software to be the same way. We want people to be copying off of everything we do. Every time we release a feature, we want to see all the competitors go out there and try to do the same thing.

Jay Clouse: 00:37:53

Can you talk to me about what constraints exist developing within the shopify ecosystem or any risks that exist by being so closely coupled to shopify?

Chris Sentz: 00:38:04

Yeah, that’s a great question because there are definitely risks, you know, shopify is growing at an amazing pace, how you can look at them, just their stock market and you know, their stock has, has exploded, um, but their user base has, the GMV has, it’s an amazing space. It’s a really cool partner but they’re trying to figure things out as well and there’s definitely a risk there because they have an open app ecosystem and that’s a good thing, but they’re going to start realizing that they need to control things and how they control things and what they do to control those things, you know, could definitely have an effect on our business when we’re so reliant on shopify right now. So that’s one of the reasons that we want to be on a lot of ecommerce platforms and we try to be as close to shopify as they’ll let us be. So, you know, we’re not a vendor that gets flown out there or anything just yet, but we certainly have an open communication with them and anytime they have questions or feedback, you know, we’re very quick to respond and make sure that uh, you know, they’re happy with everything and as I said, you know, we were lucky enough to get featured earlier this year and that was really exciting for us. That wasn’t something that we really knew was going to happen or I wish I could say that I made that happen, but they just kind of picked us. They saw that enough users were adopting this new app and staying with it and giving a good reviews that they wanted to be trust. So it’s dangerous to, to plug up against one one partner, but they seem like a good partner so far and I’m looking forward to what they do is they continue to grow as a company.

Eric Hornung: 00:39:35

So woocommerce is next, as you mentioned earlier, and then you said other ecommerce platforms. What are some of those other ecommerce platforms that may be, are further down the road other than shopify? And woocommerce,

Chris Sentz: 00:39:48

so big commerce is probably one of the shopify is larger competitors that’s trailing behind and decent amount, um, but they are trying to catch up. We’ve actually had some active outreach from some other ecommerce platforms that are trying to establish themselves, which has been interesting. But Magento two, Magento is kind of trying to come back and we want to be part of that. I then there’s this long list that I just don’t know off the top of my head, but um, those two for sure. Magento and big commerce. And then the list goes on and on.

Jay Clouse: 00:40:21

Can you give me a little bit, a little bit of a breakdown. Let’s say I’m a shopify retailer. I have a shopify store. When I’m selling a product, what does the share of a sale look like? Let’s say I sell a $50 product. Is there a credit card transaction fee? Am I giving a shopify fee? I have a monthly fee to you and a transaction fee to you. What’s the breakdown of where money’s coming in and going out?

Chris Sentz: 00:40:47

So customer comes into a site. There are financial transaction with the sites sacred, so we don’t touch that in any way, shape or form. So customers going to go to your site, they’re going gonna buy something. Shopify on a per transaction charges two point nine plus thirty cents to two point nine percent plus thirty cents on a standard monthly fee so you can subscribe to pay more a month and get that kind of cut down if you will. But that’s pretty standard. If it’s $50 and you’re using our product pro app, you’re probably going to make about $25 on it. So our margins range from 30 percent at the bottom up to 60 percent at the top. Some actually even more in jewelry. The margins are pretty crazy, but I’d say the 30 to 60 percent is pretty safe space. Um, so you’ll probably make 25 bucks and that’s a chairs. There’s nothing more to that. Uh, the product will be sent to your customer. They’ll get it. You’ll know because there’s tracking and that $25 we’ll go back. The majority of that will go back to the supplier.

Jay Clouse: 00:41:45

And you’re saying that’s just an average of what you know of the products that are on your platform, the average of the product margins that you guys are selling are 30 to 60 percent?

Chris Sentz: 00:41:53

Yeah. Yeah. So one of the big things we do is when you look at products on our platform, within the product card, you’ll see the margins clearly displayed as a percentage and just say, hey, this is how much this cost me, this is what the MSRP is, this is the margin and this is the expected shipping time. And those are the really big key factors in running an ecommerce store. So that’s what we want to get across quickly.

Jay Clouse: 00:42:15

And so I think you said earlier that as the owner of the website, I go into product pro and I choose what products I want to listen to extend my aisle. What are your future plans for how that looks? Do you want to be serving up suggestions?

Chris Sentz: 00:42:29

Yep. You hit it on the head. We want to be the smart merchandiser. So we look at how the big successful companies do it. And one of the things Columbus has done very well is they have these merchandisers at these large retailers look at express and Abercrombie, a Victoria secret bath and body works and the way they buy is very. There’s a very great scientific system around it and they’re buying and they’re really thinking how this stuff sells. And my wife’s actually merchandise planning so I get a little bit more insight than most, but her job is to lay out the financials of a specific line at express so she needs to make sure they maximize the profit of any product that they put out on store. That’s very complex. It takes very, very intelligent people to do who are talented and know a lot more information than almost any e commerce stores going to have. I mean, I can tell you that even Amazon is having trouble with this because Amazon’s coming after the people in Columbus market who have this experience in offering them basically anything they want. It’s very powerful and to say, Hey, as a shopify owner, if we can build that intelligence in and say, hey, you should be putting these products out there based on all this data that we have. I think it can be a game changer and that’s a big next step for us is putting the intelligence behind the application and then sharing that intelligence a downstream so you know you’re going in fully armed as a store. Knowing that, hey, I sell t shirts today. If I sell leggings tomorrow, I can expect this bump in revenue with my existing customer base just by sending out an email or social media posts.

Jay Clouse: 00:44:12

Do you see yourself as helping these retailers compete with an Amazon?

Chris Sentz: 00:44:17

Absolutely, so that’s really our goal. I see the future of retail being kind of a bifurcation between these mammoths, like an Amazon and Walmart and eba and the rest of the world, which is independent stores that have stories that have a brand, that have an element to them that they want to share. They want to have an intimate relationship with their customers and that’s the side of it that we want to support. That’s the flip half of it, so you can go to Amazon. It’s everything store, you know, you’ll find whatever you want there, but getting a story across on Amazon is hard as a brand. There’s really no customer relationship there. You can do that in a really boutique fashion and if you look at the way people are shopping generationally, our generation in down millennials on down the line definitely want a story. You know, you want to wear a shirt that has a little bit more story to it then hey, it was super cheap and somebody made this in China for pennies and that’s not a great story. You want to wear shoes, you want to have glasses, you want to have accessories, you want to buy everything. That kind of has a little bit more to it because then you feel good about it and that’s the side of the things that we want to get on in. One of the things holding that back is that they can extend their isle, they can’t amazonify uh, is another word we throw around a themselves. And so we say, Hey, own your brand, own your category, don’t be the everything store but, but really extended, you know, if you’re an outdoor store, sell some other products that support the outdoors lifestyle, but you might not want to buy ahead. You might not want a manufacturer yourself, but there are great companies that are already doing that.

Jay Clouse: 00:45:49

Super interesting. You use the word amazonify in our intro, Eric and I discussed this a little bit. Can you explain what you mean by Amazonify?

Chris Sentz: 00:45:57

Yeah. So, so take a look at what Amazon’s doing and uh, and do it yourself. So there’s a couple of things that they’re doing that, that really set them apart. They have an endless aisle, so they have extended their aisle to the point that you can find just about anything you’d ever want on Amazon. If it’s, if it’s legal, they probably sell it and then use that intelligence to mold and shape your own product selection. So one of the things that we talk about with some of the larger retailers and we’re moving into phases of business in which we want to support all these small retailers and there are some large retailers we’d like to work with as well. You can extend your aisle and learn from what people are purchasing. You can get ahead of trends very quickly by supplementing your offering of what you manufacturer with what people are manufacturing themselves. Um, and, and by partnering with these other other products and supplier partners.

Eric Hornung: 00:46:49

So you’re saying, and this is, let me rephrase here. You want to be able to give retailers the ability to one, sell better products that align with their story and two learn from selling those products so that they can grow their own product line. Am I correct there

Chris Sentz: 00:47:09

you are. Correct.

Eric Hornung: 00:47:11

Very cool.

Jay Clouse: 00:47:12

Something you just touched on, Chris a little bit ago was talking about Columbus as a retail hub and the access to some of the people here as important to you. One I wanted to clarify, did you say that there are people in town that are experts in this space? To the point that is trying to hire them, is that what you were saying?

Chris Sentz: 00:47:31

Yeah, absolutely. I know folks in the space who have worked with the major retailers in town, they’re very attractive for a lot of retailers outside of Columbus, uh, because they, they do things come the limited way. So wexner came out with an approach and retail that has been special in that you’re maximizing the profit and the return on, on these products that they’re putting out there in the merchandising and somewhat sophisticated ways. And it’s interesting because they do it both because the brands have a bit of a necessity that are brands that don’t do it this way because they don’t necessarily have to. So if you’re like a nike or under armour, you can just throw things out there. You’re going to make enough selling this stuff, uh, that your margins are going to make up for, for some of the waste that you have. And then you can kind of throw it in some outlets and get rid of it at the end of the day. Um, some of the brands here in town don’t move, stuff like that, so they have to be a little bit more intelligent in that intelligence is becoming more and more attractive as retail moves along and evolves. Uh, so definitely there’s some great things going on in Columbus within that space and you know, the more exposure that I’ve gotten to it, the more impressed that I’ve been with just what, when people are doing, and that’s probably about as much as I know, there’s a lot more there that we’re doing to be special and there’s struggles to obviously we’ve had a couple companies go under within the last two to five years, but all in all, there’s a lot that can be taken away and learn from the way that we’re doing things.

Eric Hornung: 00:49:00

I want to jump back into a couple of questions about some of the numbers behind this. Jay, did you want to keep on heading down that geographic path for a second?

Jay Clouse: 00:49:09

I did have one more question. Chris. Obviously you’ve made the decision to build F13 Works here in Columbus, Ohio. How much is that impacted by the retail scene here? How much does necessity, can you talk about what it’s like building a business here?

Chris Sentz: 00:49:22

Yeah, I mean Columbus is a very diverse town and you know, I didn’t set out to build a company in Columbus, Ohio. It wasn’t that hey, this is the perfect spot for it, but again, done looks the name of my game I suppose. Uh, I was here. I was exposed to a smaller retailer and got to run a retail company and that exposed me to a lot of things and then just the community and knowing and learning from, from people. I’m part of a couple of groups that are made up of members who, who worked at these large retailers and some of them actively still do just to learn from them. It’s been very special. Pass that to the technology scenes grow and a partner like a rev one is special. They enable us to do a lot of what we’ve done. They gave us the space to do it. It’s not the easiest thing to work out of your house every day. And that’s how I started as me and my co founder or working literally in my little office, you know, there’s just a lot of special things that Columbus brings that we didn’t necessarily set out and scope it and map and say Columbus is the perfect spot. But it was serendipity and it worked out really well.

Eric Hornung: 00:50:29

Cool two Quick things are numbers that I missed from earlier that I meant to ask. What’s like your average retailer lifetime on the platform or is there any real churn that kind of goes through this when people try an app and then maybe don’t like it and kind of bounce off?

Chris Sentz: 00:50:43

We don’t know enough about lifetime value of the retailers right now because we released in January, so we assume that you know that there will be probably more churn over time but we’re not, we’re not sure because it’s somewhat sticky in nature by nature and that if you put a product on your site, the idea of taking it off your site, especially if you have a lot of products and then not paying for it is it’s pretty low. And we released in January. So you know, about a year in just shy of a year and you’re going to be in q four, which nobody wants to take anything off their site and q four, so it’ll be interesting to see. Um, those are good questions. The nature of shopify that we’ve seen is there is a percentage of people who just download an APP, look at it and leave and we’re still trying to lock in what that is over the long haul. And we see a lot of same day uninstalls put going past 24, 48 hours is, is pretty low. But again, we’re pretty early on to really understand Sharon and have a confident, hey this is my customer lifetime value and this is what trend looks like based on these. And what, what we want to do is say hey, if you come in and you put a credit card on file with us, you have this percentage chance of leaving within this amount of time. If you add one product, if you had 10 products, you know. So we’ll start to bucket people. But right now it’s pretty early. So we’re again pretty high level. Just saying, well there’s churn, we know the numbers to expect, but we expected probably going to be more over six, 12, 18 months. We just aren’t there yet.

Eric Hornung: 00:52:21

And then looking at the average, I know that the numbers are a little, you’re still learning them, but the average number of transactions per retailer, is that something that you guys have seen or have even an inkling of at this point?

Chris Sentz: 00:52:34

Yeah, the average would throw things off a ton, so we arrange arranges yet we have a few percent of retailers who are doing the vast majority of all the volume And I, I think that’s the way your shopify. So we, we have two years of running other people’s apps. We have data from those apps and we know it’s very similar. There’s a lot of people on shopify, 650,000 stores. Last time we checked, my guess is talking to five percent doing anything really impactful as far as revenue and we’re experiencing pretty similar ratios on our end that we’ve seen across our other apps. A lot of people on shopify, a lot of people with stores a sale here, sale there, but there’s a small percentage that are making up the vast majority of that volume.

Eric Hornung: 00:53:18

So you mentioned your, your other apps. What is the kind of waiting right now that you’re getting any of this? We. We spent a lot of this interview discussing product pro. What’s going to happen with those other apps? Are they going to be focus areas going forward or is product pro gonna kind of be the flagship and take over everything in terms of time and resources.

Chris Sentz: 00:53:37

The nice thing is with product pro that the way our software is built is they’re all in the same framework so anytime we can get something out of to product pro we can back that into everyone else’s and vice versa. We’ve had a few of our private label companies who have come up with great ideas that you know, will take from the APP and spread to everyone else’s.

Jay Clouse: 00:53:57

What are the kpis that you pay attention to Chris?

Chris Sentz: 00:54:01

Overall We’re looking at GMV, so really products moving in in revenue, in our, on our platform.

Jay Clouse: 00:54:07

Can you define GMV?

Chris Sentz: 00:54:08

GMV within, within retail software is Kinda one of the main measures of any, any platform or products are moving, so GMV, gross merchandise value or volume. But the idea is just how much has been paid for a crusher system. So it’s how much our suppliers, you know, getting paid gross on a, on a regular basis. So it’s really important that we’re moving a lot of products and that our suppliers are successful because that means our retailers are successful too. Um, so if you just look at products moving, we know both sides are doing pretty well, uh, and then you can break that down sub metrics within that or your number of retailers or number of suppliers, the number of products they have, but at a high level that, that gmv number works out pretty well. The crack at a past that obviously our users, uh, as, as, as a startup, we need to watch our burn and financials and then we break down things at a, at a team level. So you know, our marketing team has customer acquisition costs and is looking at bringing on retailers are a supplier team, you know, similarly is trying to bring on suppliers and do that really efficiently.

Eric Hornung: 00:55:15

What’s the size of your team right now?

Chris Sentz: 00:55:17

We have five full time and then we have four contractors and interns

Eric Hornung: 00:55:21

and the full time are mostly developers or what are they focused on?

Chris Sentz: 00:55:26

So we have two developers right now that are full time and then we leverage. We’re working with aws right now. We’ve worked with a few other outside contracting firms in the past and then we have salesmen. Paul and Heart is leading sales. As I said, he’s looking at suppliers. Myron Goldsmith is helping with retail marketing and account management. And then you know, everyone else is a mix of Dev, contractor support, sales support, marketing support.

Jay Clouse: 00:55:53

The retail ecommerce space is huge. How big can F13 workspace, what’s, what’s the pie that you’re looking at here?

Chris Sentz: 00:55:59

We think that we can really expand into retail as a whole. So it’s a 4.7 trillion dollar market, which was wrap my head around that one. Um, when you think we can be a significant player in the market as far as where volume goes, supporting these independent stores, I’m crossing over into the brick and mortar space. It would be one of the longterm, you know, plays for us that there are some unique things that we can do. Being an aggregator that a traditional player could not do. So we, we really think we can carve out a, a significant space. You know, we, we set our sights on Amazon. I mean, it’s a very aggressive target, but that’s uh, that’s the bad boy in the room. You know, we’re looking at the news and saying, Hey, this is a great thing. Amazon’s doing, what did we do today? You know, this is what they’ve done. What do we need to do? 10 things for every one big release, they have a big piece of news that they have probably a thousand things

Eric Hornung: 00:56:52

thats tough to do because I feel like they put out a press release every single day.

Chris Sentz: 00:56:55

They’re masters, they’re good know Bayzos is a brilliant, brilliant man and he knows what he’s doing. He’s, he’s got everyone in the world wrapped around his finger, right? I mean, as cities right now, even in Columbus road, bending over backwards, you know, what do you want us to do, what your headquarters to here do, whatever you can. You can mow everything down. You can have everyone. Uh, we would, we do anything it takes and it’s amazing that power that he would builds, you know, he’s, and he knows that and he’s smart enough to, he knows what he’s doing and uh, he’s, he’s quite a competitor and if we can get on their radar in the next three, five years, I think it’d be quite an accomplishment

Eric Hornung: 00:57:37

in the next three to five years. What would it be like a grip of gross merchandise value that you see as like a goal for F13 works?

Chris Sentz: 00:57:46

Yeah, I think when we get to know the big goals for us on the GMV front will be hitting 10 million then 25, 50 and 100. And if we can get those in the next five years, I think we’ll be on, on a good pace.

Jay Clouse: 00:57:59

Something that I hadn’t considered until you mentioned it, it’s a little bit ago, was the seasonality of ecommerce. We just crossed through the holiday season a few months ago. What does seasonality mean to you and your partners and how do you prepare your business for that seasonality?

Chris Sentz: 00:58:17

It’s really interesting. So one of the nice things about the breadth of our product selection, it helps us kind of balanced that seasonality. Acute for regardless of what you’re selling is going to be quite a season, right? It’s just amazing. If you guys have not been in retail before, open a shop it. It’s wild. It’s unexplainable. You’re just like, hey, I can do anything and sell products right now. It’s magical. It really is like there’s nothing else to it, but the rest of the year it’s like, oh, okay, I got to be smart, got to work hard. So for us, you know that it’s being ready for q four. It always, you know, we have to be all scale up and part of that’s using a platform like Google cloud where, where you can auto scale, you can really support a user base in order volume that you need to, um, but it’s, it also means understanding your partners and what they have. So we have a cool partner that does these tents and they are the real high end camping tents, um, but they sell them at a medium price. So you might pay $2,000 for a nice tent and he’s selling them for like six or 700. They’re real high quality, great tents. He knows that he only sells during spring and summer, you know, he just knows his business. So that’s how he speaks to us and prepares. And he says, Hey, let’s forget about everything. You don’t need to feature me, you know, don’t even talk about me during this time, you know, make sure to get me out there because people will buy these and people are really actively looking for them. So in different categories have different expectations are within jewelry category. You have Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and then obviously all of q for Apparel. You have a big spike during summer and then you have these like fourth of July, all that stuff and people buy around that. Then things can go dead during a vacation seasons, so there’s, there are interesting spikes and you know, they happen. We’re exposed to them and as we get more and more suppliers in different categories, so hopefully smooth each other out and we’ll, we’ll know. We’ll always have that for a bump, but not as many spikes. Long noise. My guess

Jay Clouse: 01:00:18

we’ve covered a lot of ground here Eric, what are we missing?

Eric Hornung: 01:00:21

A. I wanted to talk about your podcast. I saw that you have the product pain points podcast. You love the PS. You got product pro, product painpoints podcast know Jay and I were saying we need to get some poppers for our microphones.

Chris Sentz: 01:00:46

Illiterate of Yeah. Product pain points podcast is popular for the podcast. It’s a podcast that focuses on the tufts side of ecommerce, so we get all these retailers coming to us and they’ll download the APP and they’ll put products on their store. That’s okay. What’s next? What do you mean? While I read I could make a million dollars if I opened up an ecommerce store and that could be rich. I could put my kids through college, I could retire, quit my day job. You hear every iteration of it and realize that all these people are going into this with out any realistic expectation. So we wanted to help with pain points. We want to say we want to talk to experienced ecommerce professionals. We wanted to bring my experience, Myron, uh, who, who I worked with experience to the table and just say, hey, these are some of the things you run into. There are issues. It’s not the easiest thing in the world. It’s just like any other job in that you have to work hard, you have to have an edge, you know, you have to do things that are different to, to make money. And product pain points is just our take on hate being different. All these podcasts you can go out and there’s dozens within the ecommerce space and some are very popular and just say, Hey, I’m going to talk to this guy. He started a brand six months, he made $5, million dollars and this is how he did it. And then everyone goes out, thinks things they can do the same thing and that’s not the case. So we we run into, hey, what are these friction points that you’re going to run into as a retailer and how do we get past them? How did really smart, talented people in our networks get past them? And we’ve had some wonderful guests on who have told stories about how they uniquely approach the market and got products to market and how people have overcome difficulties. Challenges from supply side to marketing to finding the right niche for their product and product market fit. So we just want a little bit different angle. We want people to know that other people are experiencing the pain. And in fact, those great stories you hear, you’re not hearing the 80 percent of that story that was dark and hard and got to that amazing finish so that, that’s what we want to share with the world is, hey, other people are going through this. Here’s some suggestions on how to help out.

Jay Clouse: 01:02:54

Do you have an example of how you as a founder have had a conflict or a problem or wrong assumption of last year that was difficult for you to get through?

Chris Sentz: 01:03:04

Yeah, definitely. You know, even the premise of the business was all white label. We never wanted to bring an app to market, you know. So initially we were just a software company. We are behind the scenes. We’re going to be a B to b play. So we’re going to sell these suppliers software and let them take it to market. I’m scaling the business like that’s a lot different because we just have to have some broad marketing that talks about, hey, we’re a company, you can be confident our stuff will work. Um, and then a sales team that’s pretty simple. Um, we found that we were much better than most of our partners at marketing their products, their apps when we take them to market, that we are more familiar with this space and that we were more active and people really trusted us. And then we found that there were a lot of suppliers out there that we didn’t have access to because they weren’t quite big enough that this model didn’t make sense, but we really want to get their products to market because they had a ton of opportunity. So that was one of the biggest shifts for us was a let’s take our own app to market, let’s aggregate all these suppliers and open it up to people that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford our services or just don’t have the right internal team to support this type of thing. That was a huge shift. So we shifted our business, you know, within the last six months in a, in a pretty major way. And it was, thankfully we made that pivot because it was fantastic, you know, the market loves it, the market’s feedback to this app and in as far as APP growth goes, this thing has grown way faster than any other app we’ve ever put out. So it’s been great.

Jay Clouse: 01:04:41

That’s great. And I imagine that when you guys were having that discussion of pivoting, it wasn’t an easy decision. Can you talk about that process and what you guys considered and how you ultimately made that call?

Chris Sentz: 01:04:52

Yeah, it was difficult for sure. From does our software support this the way it is today? What does it take to get there? And we found along the way that there are difficulties there. It’s really hard to know exactly how long something’s going to take to do, especially when you have a small team and everything needs to happen yesterday. Can we get these suppliers on? What types of promises are we making to them? How do we charge for this properly? What are the issues we’re going to run into? And it’s, it’s crazy. Can only plan for so much of it. So we planned. We worked hard at imagining what this new world look like for us and how it fit with our existing world and then the part of it is just launching and getting punched in the face. Right? I mean you have to realize that you can plan for so much. You get in the ring, somebody hits you and you okay, you adjust your game and keep going at it. So you know, there were things that we didn’t quite know it would be there that we’d have to deal with and, and other things that some of them were bad, some are great and it’s been just working through that process, but a lot of internal just be ready. I have an incredibly flexible team and that helps, you know, part of it’s that we’re small, there’s five of us in one of those joined in January, so we had only four people at the time and that inherently lends itself towards flexibility. But the natures of everyone that we work with is, hey, you have to be flexible. If you’re working on this today and we have this roadmap, that roadmap might change. It might tweak in our users and the feedback that they give us. Ultimately the most important thing. So it’s not what we say in this office today. It’s what the customer says.

Jay Clouse: 01:06:29

Well Chris, thanks for your time. Where can our listeners find out more about you or find out about F13 works after the show?

Chris Sentz: 01:06:38

So F13works.com. Check out our APP @productpro.io. It’s pretty cool site. You can sign up there if you want updates about that specific app. Uh, you can follow me on twitter. Sentzc on linkedin.

Jay Clouse: 01:06:54

Great. Thanks for joining us.

Chris Sentz: 01:06:55

Awesome. Thanks guys. I really appreciate it.

Eric Hornung: 01:06:57

It was great man.

Jay Clouse: 01:07:02

Eric, we just spoke with Chris sense of F13 works. What are we about to do now?

Eric Hornung: 01:07:08

So I think it’s helpful for the audience to think about. Jay and I as hypothetical investors. So we had a fund and we had a bunch of lps. Well, we would write a deal memo after meeting with someone like Chris to solidify our thoughts on whether or not we would make an investment to communicate our thoughts on the upside, the downside, potential risks and key points that we took away from the interview and all of that would be pushed to our investors so that they understood where we were coming from, the work that we did and how we understand the investment we’re making. Jay, did I miss anything on what a deal memo looks like?

Jay Clouse: 01:07:49

Nope, that’s correct. Eric and I are not investors. As you’ll hear if you listen through the rest of the episode and listened to our disclaimer, but this is our. This is our mechanism for improving our thinking and understanding what that thought process looks like and then we go back and we visit these deal memos, these thoughts. Six months down the line, 12 months down the line and we’ll say, okay, we had these thoughts about F13 works six months ago, 12 months ago. Where are they now? How close are we on our assumptions? Where did we miss and what can we learn from that?

Eric Hornung: 01:08:21

And we just happened to do it in a verbal, informal setting. So there are four questions that we want to answer as we talk through this deal memo. How committed as the founder, what are this founders chances of success in this business and in life? What does winning look like in terms of our return and revenue for the company? And why has this founder chose this business? So we might not address those all head on, but we will get to them over the course of the next 15 minutes as we talk through kind of our thoughts. So Jay, I would like to start with Chris, his background and how he got into this. What did you think about that story?

Jay Clouse: 01:09:06

I knew that Chris had spent some time in retail and ecommerce and I knew that he was at screened. I didn’t know the full context of what he was doing at screened. And so for him to talk basically as if he had done that customer validation of finding we’re at screened, we wanted to sell more products. We found out that we had the ability to sell more products through screened that were not our products and then he went out to the market and did the research and finding out that the marketplace exist on both sides outside of screened. And so he took that and ran with it. Which, uh, you know, as a former product manager, I’m a big fan of customer discovery and it sounds like a win for customer discovery. What did you think?

Eric Hornung: 01:09:45

Yeah, I thought obviously his background in that space is helpful. His wife’s background in merchandising I think is also helpful. And then he saw the opportunity and why he started this business specifically product pro, which is the one that the APP that we’re most excited about is because he went out and tried to white label this first. So he realized that the white labeling side of things through that, he also learned what the market opportunity was. So this isn’t his first idea in this space. He’s white labeled for a couple other companies, I believe, three or four. And he took what he learned there and developed it into product pro. So I think it’s a well formulated, well thought out plan that has roots and he has the subject matter.

Jay Clouse: 01:10:33

I think it makes some sense because if you’re white labeling these technologies and you’re selling it to a business that’s already busy and probably at full capacity with their team and they have to now take and maintain this APP, if they don’t do a good job of that, they’re not going to see the return on their investment in the APP, which is going to give them a bad taste, which is probably what he found and they found that it was easier to create one central app. The product pro APP, for example, that they maintain that a shopkin plug right into their existing shop and access this product catalog. I think it makes a thing. It makes a lot of sense. No Pun intended. I think it makes a lot of Chris Sentz.

Eric Hornung: 01:11:10

He could do so much with that last name for twitter or anything and he’s just sentzc I want to give him like come on dollars and cents. Common sense like you got the list is endless.

Jay Clouse: 01:11:22

They have a lot of siblings, there are several sense siblings. Unfortunately I don’t think there are six of them because if there was one of them would be the sixth sense, which is amazing.

Eric Hornung: 01:11:32

And if there are two that you, the dad could always have made the joke. Oh, here, I’ll give you my two cents when he’s handing them off.

Jay Clouse: 01:11:40

Oh my goodness. Okay. So back into the stuff that matters and that people listened for, what do you think about this market, this opportunity? It seems like you know, their game is volume, which makes some sense also. That’s. That can be a difficult game to play. What do you think about F13 Works approach and
the opportunity that we’re chasing after?

Eric Hornung: 01:12:05

So I think I said this on a previous episode, but when there’s something that is abundant, you need to look for what is scarce and that’s where the money is going to be. So I think that ecommerce is extremely abundant. It’s easier than ever to start a site. It’s easier than ever to find products. It’s easier than ever to manufacture products, which makes it harder to curate great products. So I think that the work they do on the upfront to ensure that the products are coming in, have a great story, are great quality and are essentially handpicked, is going to pay a lot of dividends as they continue to build out this product and get more and more retailers on board. I’m interested because it is a volume play to see how that conflicts because eventually quality and volume can’t play together perfectly. So I’m interested to see how, how that conflict happens. But I think that’s a three to five year problem.

Jay Clouse: 01:13:09

What I think is encouraging, and there are a few things I thought were encouraging here. One being that their growth is point has been organic, which is a good sign. The fact that both sides of the marketplace seemed to recognize the win-win opportunity, which I think is great. One of the concerns that I have is the ability to protect their advantage. You know, it seems like the barrier to entry here could be kind of low. I’m concerned with building and being dependent on a third party, but obviously he’s, he’s aware of both of those things and they’re trying to move quickly and they’re trying to guard against some of the fragility of being dependent on another marketplace. I think this could work at scale and you know, I think what retailers are realizing and we’re just now starting to dip our toes and understanding retail and ecommerce little bit. Amazon is a juggernaut clearly in for a while it was a boon for product manufacturers and companies to say, okay, this is a new sales channel for us. Amazon is a marketplace. It’s selling like crazy for us, but at some point Amazon can crowd out the traffic, going to your dedicated website and kind of cloud your own brand, which I don’t think that brands or retailers are going to be happy about. And so with tools like F13 Works that allow you to compete and continue to exist with your own control of your branding, of your presence I think is going to be in demand in the future. What do you think?

Eric Hornung: 01:14:35

Yeah, I, I, I agree. And I also think that the power that F13 Works gives back to the brand is something that Amazon doesn’t do. So what do I mean by that? Let’s look at an Amazon specific case. And what he says is Amazonification. Amazon opens up their platform and says, we want all knife sellers in the world to put their knifes on Amazon. You get anything from cut code to fancy German blades to really cheap knives made in China. Amazon takes all of that data, they learned from it, they run all the data on it, they understand the profit margins that every single knife is making and getting. And then they launch Amazon knives. And what does Amazon knives do? It’s at the top of the search. It learns everything, right? It’s the most ab tested knife set in the world and it sells more than all the other ones combined. So what F13 Works is doing is allowing companies to amazonify themselves. And they might have their core products, but they can bring on a bunch of other core products. So let’s say that there is will change products just do not mix the metaphors. A hammock company and that hammock company has built these two person hammocks, but they want to make sure that they’re doing everything right, so they bring on 20 other products and become a hammock retailer and then they optimize their own line based on everything they learned from those other 20 products through F13 works. I think that is incredibly powerful for a niche retailer to be able to leverage the same thing that Amazon can do because of their breadth through F13 Works and learn from that and make their products better.

Jay Clouse: 01:16:20

This is putting a little bit of trust and faith in these retailers and being able to understand this data and act that way. I wonder if they have the a and some of them certainly do. Some are much larger and they have the the ability and the skillset and the capacity and resources to do that. I think at 13 works it’s going to be plugged in with a lot of brands and retailers who just won’t have that capacity or ability

Eric Hornung: 01:16:44

of course, and that’s going to change, I mean, but it gives the brands the opportunity to if they want to. Also, it’s really interesting because on one hand at 13 weeks is giving this power to someone. On the other hand to get to the risk, you said shopify can be doing the exact same thing to F13 Works and Oberlo where they’re learning how to develop this through their open market and then whenever they’re ready to snatch up the torch, they just developed their own inhouse brand and it completely wipes out oF13 Works in Oberlo and the other ones that have developed apps on their system.

Jay Clouse: 01:17:20

I wonder how much that actually happens. The way that this is set up, they aren’t taking a transaction fee away from shopify that shopify wouldn’t already be getting. I guess they’re carving out a little bit themselves and maybe shopify will want that, but a an environment like shopify. I wonder how much they do actually look at how many apps they squash out a year with their own feature set. I guess I’m saying because there’s got to be so many on the platform and they invite that and they want developers to do that and developers make shopify more attractive by doing so. I wonder how much that has happened. I’ve heard incredible things about shopify as a company and as a partner to work with. So I, I, I totally hear what you’re saying theoretically and I wonder how much of that really does happen.

Eric Hornung: 01:18:03

Yeah, and I’m not sure. I just think that it’s an interesting risk and shopify right now might be a great partner, but you never know. Leadership changes five, 10 years down the road and all of a sudden shopify is in a great partner anymore, so. Okay. Looking at some of the numbers that we were provided, what are you seeing in terms of maybe some sort of potential revenue, some sorta what are, what are the kpis? What everything in that discussion. What did you pull out of that?

Jay Clouse: 01:18:36

What I pulled out of that is when he talks about a monthly sas fee, and this is going to be a little bit of speculation, so when he talks about a monthly sas fee as opposed to a higher transaction fee, for example, I’m guessing that it’s come from conversations with the customers who say, I’m willing to do this. I’m not willing to do that, and I would love to know more about that conversation. Here we go. Again, this, this part of the podcast episode is always what didn’t we ask that we wish we would’ve asked? I would love to know a little bit more about that conversation because if the average margin for the products going through 13 works is, what’d you say? Thirty to 40 percent or 60 slash

Eric Hornung: 01:19:16

30 to 60 percent,

Jay Clouse: 01:19:17

30 to 60 percent. You would think that there might be some more room for F13 Works to justify a larger transaction based fee as opposed to a monthly fee. To me, that’s the higher upside because if you’re talking about volume anyway, the more that you take per transaction, the better off you are. Then charging a monthly fee and maybe they’ll, they’ll get to a point where they have more leverage in those discussions and they can do that, but what gives me pause is what. What was the pushback from the customers saying this is the, this is the level of transaction for you are willing to tolerate. If the margins were 30 to 60 percent and does that concern go away? Can they, can they prove that the value they’re bringing to the table is worth that? For example, Uber eats charges a huge service fee and transaction fee for each thing that goes to the platform, but they go to every restaurant tour that they bring on the platform and say the math is pretty black and white. We’re going to bring you this higher sales volume which is going to dwarf the fee that we take on this and they just lay out that math problem in and show them why that’s worthwhile. And it could be, you know, we, we’ve got Chris Pretty early here. It’s to me there’s, there’s some real exciting opportunity here and it’s just early product bro is released in mid January 2018, so a lot of this, you know, he’s, he’s learning as we go and I’m excited to follow it, but that was, that was something I was looking at it from a revenue side as to it seems like a pretty straightforward model potentially.

Eric Hornung: 01:20:45

I agree. It seems a little more on the conservative side as well because if you do have these companies who are willing to pay you a monthly sas fee, that’s recurring revenue as long as that churn isn’t too high and it’s going to keep on coming through, so it’s going to let you kind of have a solid base from which to grow from. But if you do want that big upside, I agree. I think something a little more variable instructure and something that’s transaction based is going to be really important going forward. Now I, one thing I will mention is that he said five percent of all of their customers do something significant in terms of revenue, so that’s a very small portion. So if you’re capturing 100 percent of your customers paying you every month instead of that only five percent, maybe. Maybe that’s why the decision was made.

Jay Clouse: 01:21:36

That’s interesting. I see what you’re saying. Five percent. I wonder how common that is. It’s not your typical 80 slash 20.

Eric Hornung: 01:21:42

No, that is like, it is like the Credo principle squared. It is.

Jay Clouse: 01:21:47

That is the 80 20 of the 80 20.

Eric Hornung: 01:21:51

Yeah, that’s what I was. It’s like inception. Uh, yeah, it’s, it’s very small. And he said that’s pretty standard across shopify. So maybe that’s, that’s the, that’s the rationale. And eventually they can maybe add some tears in their percentages because he said that transaction volume was very small, but maybe there’s a way to do some differentiated pricing where if you sell x amount in Gmv, it’s this much. If you sell more than you get teared up, if you get some more than you get teared up. Again, it’s a escalating ladder of transaction volume fees.

Jay Clouse: 01:22:26

You know, I’m not a big fan of top down market sizing, but four point $7,000,000,000,000 retail market, pretty sizable and it did sound like he didn’t say this directly, but it did sound like he’s looking at this a little bit from the standpoint of they’re expanding the pie in terms of giving retailers, you know, obviously if they’re, if they’re increasing the distribution of retailers, I think that creates. I don’t know, actually that’s probably not true because if I’m. If I’m a consumer, I’m not necessarily going to buy more just because it’s on this website as opposed to another one. I would just, he’s, he’s helping brands stop the consumer from on their journey to a different website entirely. So maybe there isn’t a, an expanding of the pie with this. It really is a carving out more of it for their partners.

Eric Hornung: 01:23:15

I think the pie is going to continue to expand as long as the economy does. Right? Because consumer discretionary spending is probably the biggest thing that’s driving this eight to nine year boom. So maybe it’s a little bit more macro economic than we think. When we look at the expansion of the Pie, but I agree that there’s going to be some sort of pie redistribution, if you will, even within an expanding pie, look at all these pie metaphors, so many pie metaphors.

Jay Clouse: 01:23:44

I would like to hear your take on Chris as a founder and how committed he is, what his chances of success are, ect, to things that Chris said that really stick out to me that I love that he just volunteered without us asking. One being saying, Hey, look, our analytics aren’t where they need to be yet. He was pretty upfront with this is what we’ve learned. This is where we’re behind and this is when we’re planning to get there. Second being, he very quickly mentioned one of his competitors in what they were doing as a different strategy Oberlo and saying it’s. It’s a brilliant strategy. It’s a different strategy. Here’s why we don’t buy into that strategy with a what I found to be pretty good backing. So what do you think?

Eric Hornung: 01:24:27

So I think if you listened to or read any books by venture capitalists, they always say the most important thing is to know your numbers. Right. So it, it’s a little concerning and maybe it’s just he really was uncomfortable with three months of data, product pros numbers or maybe they just haven’t had a chance to really go back and review what those numbers look like. I understand we got in very early but it was a little bit on the concerning side for me that we didn’t even get like a range or like a feeling every, every numbers questions seemed to be something like yeah, we don’t really have that and that’s great. I’m, I’m all for honesty and upfront and letting me know that the numbers aren’t solid. But then it was kind of a transition into something we need to work on as opposed to here is like my best estimate. Even if it’s a terrible estimate, like five to 20 versus like maybe something narrower, like 10 to 12. That’s okay. Like give me something that I can like chew on and think about in terms of size and don’t leave me with a complete blank and I’m not saying and I understand that it’s really early so I’m not saying anything bad here. I just, I wanted to know the numbers a little bit more because I’m so interested in the math behind it because it is all about conversion is all about volume and the math is so important in this business model that I felt like I left the conversation with more questions that I’m really excited to learn the next six months or so.

Jay Clouse: 01:26:03

So let’s talk about that. The next six to 12 months or so. What are you looking for from F13 Works ? When we check back in half a year from now, a year from now, what are you looking for to see growth from them or how they’re doing or the level of excitement you have for the opportunity?

Eric Hornung: 01:26:18

I think that they have their one big KPI. Right? And that’s GMV. It’s interesting to me because they do take a small percentage on that GMV, but it’s not nearly as interesting as the amount of retailers which they are going to be able to take on because if the vast majority of their rest of their revenues come from sas fees than the number of retailers, at least at the beginning is going to be the primary driver of revenues and the number of retailers they can get on the platform. That’s going to be very important to me and that’s gonna make me ask questions about a couple things. Churn, where is it going and what’s the trend? Because I think that churn is going to be really important if you have a bunch of people coming on and starting a shopify account and signing up for this and then running that account for two months and then hating it and then leaving and your churn is something like 60, 65 percent because that’s the majority of people who are signing up. That’s a whole different business model. Then you get people who sign up and you know, five to 10 percent of them leave within two years and it’s like, okay, that’s a whole different business model, so my questions would change, but I think the number of retailers, because it sounds like the suppliers is already over logged, would be the primary thing that I would be looking for in the next six to 18 months.

Jay Clouse: 01:27:40

I liked that. I liked that approach. To add onto that, I think it’d be really interesting six to 12 months from now to revisit some of those questions you were mentioning that we didn’t have straight answers for maybe because there wasn’t just the period of time to get them, so 12 months out. What do we think and it’s a lifetime value now. What? What is that level of journey as you’re saying that we’ve seen another question 12 months from now is are you following the same kpis? Maybe they’ll come to the same realization. Is there a model the same? Are they still doing the monthly sas fee as opposed to saying, hey, actually we have a lot more time in data now and this is what we’ve been able to show people is a better model for both sides. I think that’ll be interesting, but certainly looking at both sides of the marketplace, how our suppliers doing, how are the retailer is doing and what else does the competitive marketplace look like? You know, if this is, if this is a true opportunity, we’re going to see more players enter than just Oberlo. Like we said, it seems it seems that there could be space for. He even mentioned, he said, I want to be ahead of the competition. I want to see people trying to copy everything that we do with every release and so I think that’s generally a good sign and I’d be interested to see and check up on that. How, how that’s going, how many competitors are there, what are they doing differently? I also would love to hear more about what the customers on both sides of the marketplace say about the software.

Eric Hornung: 01:29:06

I am really excited about this idea. I think that it has a ton of potential. I think that, and he mentioned this and maybe half of a sentence that there’s a lot of opportunity with brick and retailer, brick and mortar retailers. I see it. I think that the ability to aggregate great products and then allow people to choose from that menu seamlessly without having to store inventory is incredible. It is individualized drop shipping taken to the next level. I think that it is a. It can be game changing for so many sites because if you’re. Say you’re a macy’s. Right, and I know that they probably have a lot of bureaucratic things that would get in the way of this, but there is nothing stopping them from using F13 Works to besides the fact that theyre not on shopify right now, but there’s nothing stopping them from using F13 Works to take some products and put them on their site right there. Is that fit perfectly in line with what they’re doing even though they’re not in macy’s stores. That part of it to me is incredible, especially when you work your way down the ladder into smaller boutiques and stores that sell things online, but it just happens to be things they sell in stores. You can diversify your product range and be offering like the best hatchets across the entire world in addition to your own line of hatchets like that makes your store so much stronger as a hatchet selling store than if you just have one line of hatchets. Don’t know why I chose hatchet

Jay Clouse: 01:30:44

hatchets cleavers. We love sharp objects on this podcast. Something else I’d be looking for from the product front is what is the evolution of the product in terms of data that they have available and that they’re giving to their partners and second, have they have they moved into a woo commerce, a big commerce and what are they found in those marketplaces that is different, the same? How does that impact how they think about things?

Eric Hornung: 01:31:08

Awesome. Well, I think that does it for me. Is that do it for you?

Jay Clouse: 01:31:09

I think that does it for me. Thanks for listening everybody. Please, if you have more thoughts, Eric and I are just getting into ecommerce and retail, we’d love to hear from you. Tweet at us @upside fm or email us hello@upside.FM and we’ll be talking to you next week. That’s all for this week. Thanks for listening. We’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s guest, so shoot us an email at hello @upsideFM, or find us on twitter @upsideFM. Will be back here next week at the same time talking to another founder and our quest to find upside outside of Silicon Valley. If you or someone you know would make a good guest for our show, please email us or find us on twitter and let us know and if you love our show, please leave us a review on itunes. That goes a long way in helping us spread the word and continue to help bring high quality guests to the show. Eric and I decided were a couple things we wanted to share with you at the end of the podcast, and so here we go, Eric Hornung and Jay Klaus or the founding parties of the upside podcast. At the time of this recording, we do not own equity or other financial interest in the companies which appear on this show. All opinions expressed by podcast participants are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinions of Duff and Phelps Llc and its affiliates on your collective llc and its affiliates or any entity which employ us. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. We have not considered your specific financial situation nor provided any investment advice on this show. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.

F13 Works bridges the gap between manufacturers and e-commerce websites. It provides manufacturers, drop-shippers and order fulfillers of all types with a connection to millions of online stores. Orders from third-party sites will seamlessly enter their production process and payments will be automatically processed.

F13 Works is based in columbus, ohio.

learn more: https://f13works.com/


Chris Sentz is the founder and CEO of F13 Works.  Chris has a background in the development and implementation of customer-facing growth initiatives including marketing, interactive communications, and market development strategies for the e-commerce, consumer, and high-tech industries.

Prior to F13 Works, Chris was a president at Skreened, a columbus ecommerce company, and has spent time at DYNAMIT and Blind Acre.