April 1, 2014, 1:00 PM

Mobile B2B app maker Handshake gets $8 million

The company says it’s moving beyond its initial focus on providing mobile order management for sales reps as it seeks to “make wholesale buying and selling feel more like shopping online.”

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Launched in 2010, New York-based Handshake makes mobile iPhone and iPad apps designed to help sales reps close deals in the field.

Now the company plans to further develop its apps to “make wholesale buying and selling feel more like shopping online,” it says. With $8 million in venture capital from Emergence Capital Partners in San Mateo, CA, Handshake intends to introduce more innovation to its apps, CEO Glen Coates says.

“We’d like to give people operating retail stores a user experience closer to what you get as a consumer,” he says. He adds that Handshake is out to make sales reps more productive and motivated. “Handshake is not about cutting people out of the mix,” he says. “It’s about letting them spend time on the human stuff and letting machines do the robot stuff.”

Handshake hasn’t said more about its innovation plans, but it recently hired a veteran of consumer mobile designs, Keith Harper, to head its design team. Harper’s experience also includes brand design work for agencies he co-founded, including Duo and Work at the Mill.

Handshake is also planning to build out its offerings with fixed-Internet applications and to expand its sales team. “We’re a mobile-first company,” Coates says. “It really made sense to start there. But we don’t want to be a mobile-only company.”

Handshake’s basic app allow sales reps to show customers image-heavy product catalogs and to take orders.  through the apps. Client companies can also use Handshake’s apps to access and manage customer lists, view customer order history, and run reports of sales for individual sales reps. Handshake’s clients include baby stroller manufacturer Bugaboo Inc., hearing aid provider Starkey and sports and industrial safety helmet supplier Kask Helmets.

Handshake’s fees start at $24.95 per month for the basic app version. For $49.95 per month for the Pro version, clients can also view real-time updates of available inventory and restrict access to customer data based on the territories of sales reps.

Handshake also provides integration between its apps and business operations software, including financial, inventory and customer relationship management applications, from companies including Oracle Corp., NetSuite Inc., SAP AG, Sage Software and Salesforce.com Inc.

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