In another move that shows the growing importance of marketplaces, Combs Enterprises and Salesforce announced the forthcoming launch of Shop Circulate, a curated online marketplace showcasing products from Black entrepreneurs, according to a Tuesday press release.
Deloitte Digital will design and build Shop Circulate, and Marketplacer's technology, which supports more than 100 international marketplaces, will underpin the platform, the company said.
The platform will launch later this year and will feature Black-owned businesses across beauty, fashion, art, health, home and other product categories, per the announcement.
Combs Enterprises and Salesforce tied Shop Circulate's announcement to the centennial anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, in which a White mob terrorized residents, homes, community institutions and businesses in Tulsa, Oklahoma's Black Greenwood neighborhood between May 31 and June 1, 1921, according to the National Endowment for the Humanities. The massacre left hundreds of mostly Black Americans dead and destroyed more than 1,400 homes and businesses in what was known as Black Wall Street.
In light of the Tulsa Race Massacre anniversary, the company noted in its announcement that the platform's launch underscores the need for empowering sustainable Black-owned businesses.
Shop Circulate has acquired The Nile List, a digital community that highlights Black-owned brands. Its founder, Khadijah Robinson, will become head of product at Shop Circulate as part of the acquisition. The company has also partnered with Official Black Wall Street, an online directory for Black-owned businesses, and its founder Mandy Bowman will join the company as an advisor, per the announcement.
"Building Black wealth starts with investing in Black-owned businesses and giving entrepreneurs access to the consumers needed to build sustainable companies that can thrive," Sean Combs, chairman of Combs Enterprises, said in a statement. "I'm excited to partner with Salesforce to create a platform that will advance our collective pursuit of economic justice."
Shop Circulate joins other companies and direct to consumer brands in showcasing entrepreneurs of color. In December, Nyakio Grieco, founder of Nyakio Beauty, and Patrick Herning, founder and CEO of 11 Honoré, launched Thirteen Lune, an online platform that features beauty brands created by entrepreneurs of color.
Meanwhile, marketplaces overall are seeing an uptick in funding to bolster operations. Perch and Heyday, both of which acquire and support digitally-native brands, have each recently raised millions to fund their expansion.
"Marketplaces are a great leveler in bringing together businesses of all sizes into a single venue to drive opportunity and growth," Jason Wyatt, executive chairman of Marketplacer, said in a statement. "It's our goal that our partnership with Shop Circulate will bring our powerful marketplace platform to Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs as a vehicle to drive change, growth and success."