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Waterloo’s Tulip Retail inks $2.4 mln funding deal led by SoftTech VC

Tulip Retail, a Waterloo, Ontario-based software company that creates tools to empower retailers with offline, mobile, and online presence, has secured $2.4 million in startup financing. The deal was led by U.S. venture capital firm SoftTech VC with the participation of Canadian firm iNovia Capital, as well as BoxGroup, Founder Collective, KIMA VenturesLerer VenturesPromus Ventures, the founders of Bufferbox and WordPress, and others. Tulip Retail was founded by Ali Asaria, former founder and CEO of venture-backed, an online health, baby and beauty store.


Tulip Retail, a Waterloo, Ontario based tech startup, announced today the launch of its Tulip Omni-channel Retail Platform for midsize and enterprise retailers that sell both online and offline.

The company also announced a $2.4M investment, led by SoftTech, alongside a suite of high profile investors including Founder Collective, BoxGroup, Lerer Ventures, iNovia, Promus Ventures, KIMA Ventures, Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress), the founders of Bufferbox, and Greg Kidd (early investor in Twitter and advisor to Square).

The center of the newly launched Tulip Retail Platform is the Tulip Commerce Engine which allows retailers to enable true omni-channel experiences for their shoppers. By pulling product, customer, and transactional information into a single, cloud-based hub, the Tulip Commerce engine allows large retailers to enable seamless consumer experiences across their stores, website, and mobile storefronts.

Retailers looking for an end-to-end solution to enable interactions with their customers can leverage the Tulip Platform to enable Apple-store like checkout experiences that connect to their ecommerce and internal data stores. Experiences like ordering online but fulfilling orders from the store, or ordering in the store in an but shipping to the customer’s home, become easy using the Tulip Retail Platform.

More information is available on Tulip’s website at

“There has been a lot of innovation in retail that is focused on small retailers — now the next generation of large retailers need a platform that combines the best of online, mobile, and in-store. We’re building that platform,” said Ali Asaria, founder and CEO of Tulip Retail. Ali Asaria was formerly the CEO and founder of, Canada’s largest online health, baby and beauty store.

“The world of retail is undergoing a massive sea change as the cloud is now enabling true omni-channel retail opportunities for merchants of all sizes. Tulip has identified a very interesting segment of the market and has a solution designed to meet their needs both online and in-store“ said Charles Hudson, Partner at SoftTech, who will join the company’s Board of Directors.

“We believe that enterprise class software doesn’t have to cost millions of dollars or take years to install, particularly given the increasingly dynamic world of retail commerce. This ‘lightweight’ approach to omni-channel selling will enable retailers access to tools they previously couldn’t afford,” said Micah Rosenbloom, Partner at Founder Collective.

“There is currently no viable solution for e- and retail companies that need modern, affordable, enterprise-level software. As the CEO of a commerce business, I understand exactly the pain point Tulip Retail is addressing and as an investor, I’m incredibly bullish on Ali and the opportunity he’s going after,” said Ben Lerer, Managing Director at Lerer Ventures.

About Tulip Retail
Tulip Retail is a retail software company focused on creating tools to empower retailers that have offline, mobile, and online presence. By connecting all of the touchpoints retailers have with consumers, Tulip enables retailers to offer seamless, beautiful experiences to their shoppers. The company was founded by Ali Asaria, former founder and CEO of, Canada’s largest online health, baby and beauty store. Investors include SoftTech, alongside a suite of high profile investors including Founder Collective, BoxGroup, Lerer Ventures, iNovia, Promus Ventures, KIMA Ventures, Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress), and others.

About SoftTech
SoftTech VC was founded in 2004 and has backed over 140 early-stage start-ups. Based in Palo Alto, the firm manages two institutionally-backed funds and invests in Silicon Valley, New York, Southern California, Boulder and Canada. SoftTech VC is among the most active investors in early stage consumer Internet and B2B startups, consistently investing in 20 new opportunities a year. We seek great entrepreneurs, differentiated products and large market opportunities. More information available at

About Founder Collective
Headquartered in New York and Cambridge, Founder Collective is a peer-to-peer venture capital fund established in 2009 with a maniacal focus on the seed stage. All partners have themselves founded technology companies with significant exits. “Founder Collective is the fund we wish existed when we each built our first startup.” Notable portfolio companies include Uber, Makerbot, Buzzfeed, HotelTonight, Coupang, Optimizely and Seatgeek.

About Lerer Ventures
Lerer Ventures is a New York-based, seed stage venture capital fund started by Kenneth and Ben Lerer. LV invests in founders in the earliest stages of a startup’s life, seeking out those entrepreneurs with product vision, consumer insight, focused execution, and unwavering ambition. Its portfolio includes Birchbox, Warby Parker, Thrillist, Chartbeat, ClassDojo, Percolate, and Sailthru.

Press Contact
Press can contact Ali Asaria, CEO, Tulip Retail at:

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.