citybiz+ Amazon-enabler Amify Closes $4.2 Million Series B

Amify, which runs an Amazon-as-a-Service operation to help sellers on the world’s largest e-commerce platform, has closed a Series B round worth $4.2 million led by Houston, Texas-based Mercury Fund, CincyTech and Washington, D.C.-based SAAS Ventures, and undisclosed angel investors.

The company, with twin headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati, Ohio, has so far raised $10 million in venture funding, after founder Ethan McAfee, a former T. Rowe Price analyst, bootstrapped it for the first seven years. Its prior investors include Omaha, Neb.-based Dundee Venture Capital and Capital One co-founder Nigel Morris.

“We are delighted to have closed our Series B funding round and are excited about the opportunities it presents for our company and our clients,” said Amify CEO Chris Mehrabi, who is based in Washington, D.C. “With this funding, we will continue to invest in our technology and team, so we can better serve growing brands and deliver business success on Amazon.”

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Amify also announced executive changes already effected last year. Key changes include Mehrabi, who was the company’s chief product officer, succeeding McAfee as CEO. Christine McCambridge, formerly senior vice president of delivery, assumed the position of chief operating officer. McAfee was named executive chairman.

McAfee started Amify in 2010 after spending over a decade as an investment analyst, first at T. Rowe Price and then Ramsey Asset Management. It seemed like an inflection point for Amazon, as well as sellers on the platform.

“If you’re a brand, you need to have an Amazon [presence],” he once told Business Insider, “because that’s where people are buying your stuff.” He bootstrapped the company, building marketing and other capabilities that sellers require to succeed on Amazon. Since sellers on Amazon already pay a commission to the ecommerce firm, it has been incumbent on Amify to add true value in order to extract a modest commission for the services it provides the sellers.

Besides helping build web stores and product listings on Amazon, Amify provides pricing strategy, manages inventory and returns, and brings customer data and insights, and real-time monitoring. It even addresses market rivals and copycat or fake products. Today, Amify manages several hundred brands.

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Amify initially operated out of Alexandria, Va., but after the 2019 Series A in which CincyTech was an investor, it began to build a second headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. That has served the company well, as it built warehouses at lower cost. Amify continues to run its Washington, D.C. office. In fact, the new CEO, Chris Mehrabi, operates out of there, directing product development and strategic initiatives, while the COO, Christine McCambridge, works out of Cincinnati, overseeing delivery, customer success and support.

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Amify Backers
SaaS Ventures, based in Washington, D.C., was founded in 2017 by the duo of Brian Gaister and Seth Shuldiner. Gaister is a financial entrepreneur who also co-founded specialized investment firms Pennington Partners & Co. and PTM Partners. Shuldiner previously managed the University of Maryland’s angel investor group and Dingman Angels, and served as a principal at the Momentum Fund. SaaS Venture has made nearly 100 portfolio investments. Its recent investments include Cloverly, Gappify, Pitstop, trackd, Dalia, Elements Advisors, Qualytics and Cloverpop.

CincyTech was founded in 2006 and is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. It has an active portfolio of over 20 companies. Its recent investments include Voxel, CoreDB, IncludeHealth and Genetesis. Last year, it announced a plan to raise a new $100 million fund. CincyTech is led by CEO and managing director Mike Venerable, formerly co-founder and CEO of data warehousing consulting firm Talus.