Wharton piles into $200M Fabric funding round

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Distribution startup Fabric, which is building technology to help retailers compete against giants such as Amazon in fulfillment operations, has announced $200 million in funding.

Singapore’s Temasek led the Series C funding, with Koch Disruptive Technologies, Union Tech Ventures, Harel Insurance & Finance, Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund (Pontifax AgTech), Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), KSH Capital, Princeville Capital, Wharton Equity Ventures, and other unnamed backers also participating.

The investment will aid the company as it expands its automated, on-demand fulfillment platform servicing the general merchandise market. Fabric is building a network of micro-fulfillment centers across major metropolitan areas in the United States to make fast delivery scalable and profitable for retailers. 

“E-commerce activity has exploded in recent years, and consumers are increasingly demanding next-day or even same-day fulfillment of their orders. These trends show no signs of slowing, and as the pandemic has exposed critical weaknesses in the global supply chain, Fabric’s platform has become more vital than ever,” said Peter C. Lewis, founder & chairman of Wharton Equity Partners.

PETER LEWIS

“With our unique lens as owners of last mile facilities, we were able to assess Fabric’s solutions and are convinced the company is at the forefront of the inevitable migration to automation of urban warehouses.”

Fabric runs micro-fulfillment operations for grocery and general merchandise retailers in New York City, Washington, DC, and Tel Aviv. The company recently announced major partnerships with Walmart, Instacart, and FreshDirect. 

Wharton Equity Ventures’ investment in Fabric marks the latest in a string of commitments to successful technology companies, including many designed to solve growing pain points in commercial real estate.

It has previously backed notable companies such as Latch Inc., a smart locks maker and full-building enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that debuted as a publicly traded company earlier this year.

Wharton has also invested in Dataminr, an AI-powered platform that monitors high-impact events and emerging risks to help customers mitigate and manage crises more effectively, which closed a $475 million Series F funding round in March 2021 at a valuation of $4.1 billion.

“As a longtime investor across various sectors of commercial real estate, Wharton closely monitors the macroeconomic trends at the intersection of real estate and technology,” said Lewis.

“Our unique position in the market, deep professional network and entrepreneurial insights have helped us identify tech-based solutions that hold the potential to transform not only the business world, but the broader built environment. We are extremely excited to add Fabric to our expanding list of investments, and look forward to their growth in the years and decades to come.” 

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