DETROIT, MI--(Marketwired - Apr 14, 2015) - Rock Ventures today announced the launch of new portfolio company Amber Engine, creators of a B2B cloud-based platform that is transforming the way manufacturers and retailers of home furnishings and décor conduct business. Conceived and designed by seasoned home goods industry veterans, Detroit-based Amber Engine has been built from the ground up to eliminate industry inefficiencies, simplify product data management, level the playing field for smaller manufacturers and streamline the home furnishings and décor ecosystem. The company is headquartered in the historic Chrysler House building in the heart of downtown Detroit.
Home furnishings is a century old $275 billion market that is mostly comprised of small to medium-sized manufacturers and retailers, most of whom have fallen behind the technology curve. With the rise of e-commerce over the last 20 years and the rapid proliferation of software packages, websites, databases and proprietary processes and infrastructure by retailers, even large manufacturers struggle to meet the data and process requirements inherent within their commerce channels. In this environment, manufacturers find it difficult to gain brand exposure and penetrate new channels and are overwhelmed trying to manage or even show their product data.
"There are thousands of boutique manufacturers around the world creating inspired and refreshing new products in this space, yet most of them are not properly staffed or funded to handle the increasingly complex sales, marketing and IT demands this industry requires," said Jennifer Gilbert, chairwoman and founder of Amber Engine. "The Amber Engine platform will overcome those obstacles to successfully level the playing field so manufacturers and retailers can find each other to seamlessly communicate and share data. We're striving to be a transformative model, one that truly benefits everyone in this broadly underpenetrated industry."
Morgan Woodruff joined Amber Engine in December 2014 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Woodruff is an e-commerce industry veteran who most recently helped found Blueport Commerce, a commerce platform provider serving the furniture market. As Chief Operating Officer for Blueport he was responsible for corporate development, customer acquisition, investor relations and business development, as well as corporate marketing strategies. Under his leadership, Woodruff grew the company from 16 to 80 employees and helped increased 2014 revenues by 66 percent, turning the company into a growth engine through a holistic approach to optimizing operations.
Amber Engine is currently in closed beta and consists of two portals -- Channel Manager and Discover Portal. Manufacturers use the Channel Manager solution to dramatically simplify and streamline the process of storing, managing, updating and distributing their product data to their channel partners. The Discover portal gives retailers access to an ever-expanding array of new home furnishings and décor products with built-in capabilities to locate and connect with manufacturers.
"It gives me great pleasure to welcome Morgan to Amber Engine in his new role of President and Chief Executive Officer," said Jennifer Gilbert. "His strong leadership track record coupled with his in-depth, hands-on knowledge of the inner workings of the furniture industry are well-suited for leading the on-going development and expansion of the company and the Amber Engine platform."
About Amber Engine
Detroit-based Amber Engine, part of the Rock Ventures family of companies, is on a mission to level the playing field across the home furnishings and décor landscape. Its team of industry veterans designed the Amber Engine cloud platform to empower small and mid-sized manufacturers and designers with the tools they need to efficiently manage their product data and communicate with channel partners. Its Discover portal is a showcase for manufacturers, giving retailers the power to locate and connect with a rapidly expanding portfolio of unique and inspired new home goods products and services. To learn more visit www.amberengine.com.
About Rock Ventures
Rock Ventures LLC is the umbrella entity that provides operational coordination, guidance and integration of Quicken Loans Founder Dan Gilbert's diverse portfolio of companies, investments and real estate purchases. Rock Ventures and its more than 110 affiliated companies across the country employ more than 24,000 team members.