Fast-growing Cincinnati company launches product to help small businesses manage eCommerce
July 28, 2021 - By Steve Watkins - Staff Reporter
A fast-growing Cincinnati company has launched a new product to help companies handle e-commerce with plans to continue expanding through people and capital.
Hinge Global, which manages e-commerce for companies looking to do business on Amazon and other large online platforms, rolled out its second version of Hinge Axis this month. The new software-as-a-service product, originally launched in February, enables small companies as well as large ones to benefit from Hinge’s expertise and data to effectively sell their products online.
The key is the new product’s capability of storing data and analytics in one place and allowing users to publish it to the marketplace. It’s also more cost-effective, particularly for smaller companies, at $49 a month. It’s targeted at any seller on Amazon in addition to larger companies.
“This opens the pool of sellers we can help way wider today than it was,” Dean Seifert, Hinge’s president and COO, told me. “This software gives companies the power and tools to grow their business.”
Hinge’s growth prompted it to move its headquarters more than a year ago from Culvert Street downtown to 10290 Alliance Road in Blue Ash. That’s the home of the Vora Innovation Center where private equity investor Mahendra Vora houses his company. That’s also when Vora Ventures bought the company. CEO Fred Killingsworth founded the company six years ago.
The company already employs 30. And while Seifert didn’t divulge revenue, Hinge has helped more than 250 brands with e-commerce initiatives and facilitated sales of more than $650 million in sales volume since it was founded six years ago.
He expects expansion to continue. About 2.5 million sellers on Amazon sell less than $200,000 a year worth of product, Seifert said. In the past, those companies were too small for Hinge, which targeted companies with e-commerce sales more in the $1 million to $1.5 million range. It still serves those companies but with Axis, it can work with those smaller companies below $200,000, too.
“Our business model has shifted from services only to technology and services,” he said. “We do expect rapid growth as part of this product release. We think it’s a powerful solution.”
The company is “actively working” to get funding for speed the development of Axis, he said. It wants to add people in engineering and sales and marketing.
“We’re going to be investing in product and technology resources and sales and marketing resources over the next six to 12 months to really amp this thing up,” Seifert said.
Hinge manages the e-commerce business for companies such as Tim Horton’s, Campbell Soup and McCormick seasoning. It manages their e-commerce catalog, helps with pricing and handles copyright and photos, among myriad other tasks related to selling online through Amazon and elsewhere.
Axis was developed when Hinge put all of its combined expertise into one system to help other companies and to make its own operations more efficient.
“It’s meant to be a single unified view into your e-commerce business,” Seifert said.
That includes inventory status, marketing, promotions, and other aspects of the e-commerce process. It puts all of the data in one place and enables it to be loaded into the systems of Amazon, Walmart, Ebay or wherever the company sells online.
Seifert, a former director, and general manager at Amazon.com who worked closely on its gift card program, joined the company two years ago.