Rutter is a remote-first company. It is developing a unified e-commerce API that enables companies to connect with data across any platform. Last week it was announced that Rutter gets funding worth $1.5 million and was emerging from stealth. The group of investors includes Haystack, Liquid 2, and Basis Set Ventures.
Backstory – before Rutter got funding
Founders Eric Yu and Peter Zhou met in school and started working on Rutter. Zhou called it Plaid for commerce in 2017 before going through the summer 2019 Y Combinator cohort.
They stumbled upon the e-commerce API idea while working in education technology last year. The pair were creating subscription kits and learning materials for parents concerned about how their children would be learning during the global pandemic. Then their vendor customers had problems listing their storefronts on Amazon. Hence, they wrote scripts to help them. However, they found that they had to write separate scripts for each platform.
With Rutter, customers only need one script to connect anywhere. Its APIs connect to e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Walmart, and Amazon. The connection is such that tech customers can build functions like customer support and chatbots.
After watching Rutter for a few years, it’s clear what they built is powerful. It’s the central nervous system of online commerce.
Future of e-commerce
As the founders see it, there are two big explosions going on in e-commerce. Firstly, the platform side with the adoption of headless commerce. That’s is the separating of front end and back end functions of an e-commerce site. Secondly, new companies coming in to support merchants.
The new funding will enable Yu and Zhou to build up their team, including hiring more engineers.
Yu said that Rutter’s API volume was doubling and tripling in the last few months. It is also supporting merchants that connect with over 5,000 stores.
Some of Rutter’s customers are building one aspect of commerce, like returns, warranties, and checkouts. Since Shopify represents just 10% of e-commerce, the company’s goal is to take merchants beyond the marketplace by being that unified app store for merchants to find products.
Zhou added that they think in the future, the e-commerce stack of a merchant will look like the SaaS stack of a software company. Further adding that they want to be the glue that holds that stack together for merchants.