Merkatus Partners --> World

Startups reach growth plateaus.

Corporations get stuck in old patterns.

Investors wish every investment could win.

We are living in some pretty crazy times in the world of commerce. Billion dollar brands can be built in a matter of months vs decades. Consumers have access to more real-time information about what and where to buy products and services at their fingertips than ever before. Startups have access to more capital than ever before, and more competition in the territory as a result. And to make things even more daunting, the terminology dominating our industry is filled with nascent trends like AI and blockchain, offering incredible promise, along with a healthy dose of hype.

In the hastening cycles of disruption, we are left to sift through the priorities, determining what is worth our time and attention, while still meeting quarterly goals and running business as usual. In order to do all of this smoothly and have a strong leverage against your competition, strategic alliances are must. These partnerships needs to be carefully forged and it takes many additional resources - sometimes creating new roles specifically dedicated to these emerging focus points.

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The birth of Merkatus Partners

After seeing the challenges of commerce and retail innovation first-hand from both sides of the table, we saw real gaps in the way both established companies and early-stage startups collaborate. The two sides often are speaking different languages, or at best different dialects, making the already challenging process of digital transformation even harder.

For startups, scale is the name of the game. In the very early stages of building a company, support is everywhere. This doesn’t mean it’s easy to get a product live, find early customers, and ultimately achieve product-market fit - far from it! But, there are countless accelerators, incubators, and mentor networks designed to help work through these early innings.

For those startups fortunate enough to gain traction and raise some seed capital, leaving the ‘nest’ comes with plenty of new growing pains, and far less patience with new investors on board. And just as growth challenges ramp up, the structured support of those early stage networks ramps down. The reality is that for those businesses, the problems being tackled now are bigger than any coffee conversation can solve. As private and public markets converge into newer forms over the next decade, your successful exits may look a lot different from “IPOs” and strategic partnerships in growth stage lead to strategic exits.

On the corporate side, the challenges of innovation may look different in scale, but center around the same core issues faced by startups - a need for the right talent, working on the most important problems, quickly! Under the pressure of these issues, the factor of time can feel ruthless for corporations. With growing concerns such as brand loyalty, digital innovation, and customer personalization, leaders and decision makers at corporations have their hands full juggling these priorities. Piecing together the talent, tools and strategies to hit all of these points is of high importance in the corporate world. Creating a map and envisioning the future towards digital by leveraging data is a puzzle that needs attention immediately.

We created Merkatus to create a common language and accelerate the transformation in our industry.

Collectively, our team has worked with hundreds of startups across the globe to bring world class innovation into traditional retailers. Our shared passion for driving change in commerce, led to more conversations about how to tackle the problem. Ultimately, as many may be familiar, our journey of late nights, conversations with potential partners, and numerous white-board sessions led to the formation of Merkatus Partners.

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What do we want and how do we plan on doing it?

We launched Merkatus Partners with the ambition of creating a community of passionate commerce industry entrepreneurs, investors and corporate executives, driven to solve our industry’s most pressing challenges. We believe that different business challenges require different perspectives, so we tap our expanding community to pull together the right individuals for each project we take on.

A startup looking to expand to new markets, needs more than a warm introduction, but a team that knows how to quickly adapt their story and help them break down any potential regulatory barriers. A corporation looking to strengthen their eCommerce tech stack, needs to quickly assess which vendors are worth a look, and those not worth their time, based on first-hand experience. While no individual can be an expert in every need of a client, the power of our model is built on the concept that we can change the individuals involved, based on the question at hand.

We are just getting started, and welcome all the feedback, questions, and ideas we can get. For now, check out our site, and drop us a line if you’re interested in joining us for the ride.

Chandhu, Andy, and Miron

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