Eoxs has been one of the most popular stories we’ve covered on Cronicle. The startup disrupted steel buying technology by providing an e-commerce solution for steel buyers to create their own marketplaces online within one day. The industry was interested in the technology, but reportedly didn’t want marketplaces killing off retail competition, as can happen sometimes. Eoxs founder Rajat Jain says he also didn’t want to be in steel but to focus his efforts in software. So, the startup pivoted quickly to offer cloud-based reporting software for the steel industry–another low-hanging fruit in an industry still using basic reporting and analytics tools.
We’ve seen it repeatedly in recent months: companies are racing to adopt or update e-commerce platforms to keep up with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing buying online. Everything from groceries to steel buying to marketing and networking is now online, and that means demand for online user interfaces, conferencing, e-commerce platforms, and online marketing are at an all-time high. One startup we recently spoke with, Eoxs E-Commerce, was busy disrupting the steel buying industry with online buying platforms, but has since pivoted and expanded their offerings in response to this trend.
Rajat Jain has been in the steel industry over a decade, building business solutions. He used to be in sales. “Customers would send faxes on my phone number,” Jain says of the antiquated way steel is still sold in the manufacturing industry. “Because that was frustrating, I spent time in San Francisco to learn the startup way of selling — and ended up creating a marketplace for steel.” Eoxs was born. Jain describes it as being like Airbnb with a 2-sided marketplace matching seller and buyer. But the target? Steel distributors. Eoxs is based in California, but its new warehouse in Detroit already has 100,000 square feet of space with up to $200 million in inventory. Doesn’t sound like a lot for the gigantic manufacturing industry? This marketplace was created in 3 weeks.