Y Combinator LogoW19ActiveSaaSB2BRetailEnterprise

Onboard and integrate suppliers for dropship and marketplace

Convictional helps retailers and marketplaces onboard, integrate, and transact with their suppliers. We provide the infrastructure that enables product information, inventory, orders, invoices, and more to flow bidirectionally between trading partners. With Convictional, retailers and marketplaces can onboard new suppliers in minutes versus months and expand their online assortments without any inventory risk. Our mission is to connect the world's trading partners.

Team Size:50
Location:Toronto, Canada

Active Founders

Roger Kirkness

Co-founder of Convictional (W19) - enabling every company to automate B2B trade. Ex Shopify.

Roger Kirkness
Roger Kirkness

Chris Grouchy

Chris Grouchy
Chris Grouchy

YC Sign Photo

YC Sign Photo

Hear from the founders

How did your company get started? (i.e., How did the founders meet? How did you come up with the idea? How did you decide to be a founder?)

We met at Shopify in 2016. We were both hired on to the early Shopify Plus team and our task was to help find early customers and product-market fit. We left in late-2017 and started building Convictional to help retailers and brand onboard their suppliers. Our mission is to connect the world’s trading partners. Over time, Convictional will enable transactions between suppliers and their trading partners for dropship, marketplace, and wholesale business models. We decided to become founders after working on an idea while at Shopify and finding compatibility in our interest in working in B2B trade/commerce, our values, and complementary skills. Roger built the first version of Convictional while Chris took it to market. About a year in to building Convictional, we applied to YC and joined the W19 batch.

How did you decide to apply to Y Combinator? What was your experience applying, going through the batch, and fundraising at demo day?

We are both from Canada, so Silicon Valley was a bit of a mystery to us. We knew that to make Convictional a big company, we’d need to fundraise eventually but didn’t know how to do it. We applied after a couple of YC alumni encouraged us to go for it. In preparation for our interview, we completed mock interviews with 11 YC alumni (we reached out cold). Our interview experience was gruelling but thankfully, we were accepted! We remember our batch experience being intense and focused. Every other week, we would meet with other founders for Group Office Hours and share the progress we’d made since the previous Group Office Hours. Our goal was to grow revenue and usage week-over-week and the accountability loop of Group Office Hours was reinforcing. In meeting other founders in the batch, we found that our unique strength was sales, so we’d sit with different teams during the Tuesday dinners to help teams think through early sales challenges.

How have you kept in touch with the YC community and continued to use YC resources & programs since the batch ended?

We remain in close contact with several of the founders in our batch. We’ve also participated in YC’s Series A program, the A to B program, and YC Growth. YC Continuity led our Series B which we’re grateful for. Ali Rowghani is on our Board and we’ve benefitted from his wisdom on leadership, operations, and growth. We really enjoy working with the entire team at YC!

What is the core problem you are solving? Why is this a big problem? What made you decide to work on it?

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), a pre-internet data format for exchanging B2B transaction documents like purchase orders and invoices, is responsible for trillions of dollars worth of global trade between trading partners — spanning most sector of the economy. Yet, EDI is incredibly difficult to work with and not built for modern systems. For example, it typically takes a retailer 3 months to onboard and integrate with a new supplier. We decided to work on this problem to connect the world’s trading partners and give them better infrastructure that integrates universally with any business system.

Selected answers from Convictional's original YC application for the W19 Batch

Describe what your company does in 50 characters or less.

API for suppliers to sell inventory to retailers

What is your company going to make? Please describe your product and what it does or will do.

Convictional is an API allowing manufacturers and distributors to sell inventory to any online retailer. Large retailers (like Amazon, Walmart) and small online retailers (like Shopify stores) all have their own IT systems and integration requirements for buying inventory. Convictional is the only integration a supplier needs to sell to any retailer.

In 10 months:

  • Our customers (suppliers) are now processing +1 billion API calls per month.
  • We launched a fully documented REST API for all data types.
  • We launched an admin where you can view orders, manage products, set up pricing and send invites to your retail trading partners, and get connected without knowing what system they use.
  • We created user-facing support documentation.
  • We built our own tooling for parsing, mapping, and queuing transaction data — this could be licensed or provided as a service to other developers hoping to include B2B commerce in their own platforms.

YC W19 Application Video