The AI co-pilot for sales reps at industrial wholesale distributors.

Distro is the all-in-one AI-powered sales platform for counter staff and inside sales at industrial wholesale distributors (HVAC/R, plumbing, electrical, and more).

Jobs at Distro

New York, NY, US / Remote (New York, NY, US)
$130K - $170K
0.25% - 1.00%
11+ years
Team Size:4
Location:New York
Group Partner:Nicolas Dessaigne

Active Founders

Jason Sullivan

Jason is the founder and CEO of Distro, the all-in-one AI co-pilot for counter staff and inside sales at industrial wholesale distributors. He is a repeat founder, having previously co-founded Vested. Before Vested, he was CTO at Elementus, Tech Lead at Coatue, and Senior Software Engineer at PeerIQ. In a prior life, Jason was a credit derivatives trader. Jason holds an MS in Computer Science from Stanford and a BA in Cognitive Science from Yale.

Jason Sullivan
Jason Sullivan

Company Launches

Distro is the AI sales co-pilot designed for industrial wholesale distributors. We created Distro out of a passion for developing software for the “real economy,” and in particular for the trades. The Distro team is based in, and loves, NYC! 🗽

😅 The Problem

Distributors, particularly those mid-size and smaller, face a long list of point-of-sale challenges these days.

🧠 Brain drain: the most experienced reps are at or near retirement and are taking a great deal of tribal knowledge with them.

🔧 Complex sales: quoting entire systems, load calculations, replacing legacy parts and equipment.

📦 Inventory challenges: growing SKU counts, supply chain disruptions, decreased inventorying by contractors.

🎓 Training and retention: counter reps, in particular, are difficult to hire, train and retain.

These issues are amplified by the increasing importance of counter and inside sales relative to the rest of the sales organization–there has been a whopping 13 percentage point shift* towards counter staff and inside sales influencing purchasing decisions, moving away from territory managers/outside sales.

To top it all off, there is the ever-present and growing threat of larger players that have the resources to throw money and bodies at the aforementioned problems.

* 2023-2024 State of the Channel, HARDI (Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International)

🔍 Our Approach

What began as an academic curiosity about how to apply AI to distribution evolved into our team spending countless hours with distributor reps across the country over the course of a year, going deep on their day-to-day challenges, and building a distributor-centric solution from the ground up in partnership with several leading distributors.

This experience–fully immersing ourselves in a distribution vertical in order to go far beyond a superficial understanding of that vertical’s product universe and sales workflows–has shaped our product philosophy and overall approach. Some of our learnings:

📍 Meet reps where they are: don’t try to push reps to adapt to a totally new paradigm. Adapt our workflows to how things really work at the counter.

🚀 Effortless onboarding: distributor IT teams don’t need another tech project to distract them. Build solutions that avoid the need for long implementations.

🔒 Data sanctity: distributors can spend a lot of time, energy, and money curating their data. Complete data security and privacy are necessary to protect that advantage.

🛠️ Enhance, don’t replace: the human element is the key to a distributor’s value-add to its contractor customers. We’re building Iron Man’s suit, not the Terminator.

💡 Our Solution

Our platform helps counter and inside sales reps work more efficiently by transforming complex customer requests into real-time product information and quotes. With Distro, reps can quote faster, boost conversion rates, and increase customer retention. We support distributors in sectors like HVAC/R, plumbing, electrical, and more.

🙏 Asks

🤝 Connect with us: If you are a founder in the distribution, manufacturing, or contractor spaces, we’d love to share learnings.

📣 Customer intros: distributors, contractors, and OEMs, particularly in HVAC/R, plumbing, and electrical.