Originally posted on Business Insider, read the full story here.

As e-commerce has become the default mode of shopping for many during the Covid-19 pandemic, online brands have been looking for increasingly sophisticated ways to reach their customers.

That means lots of opportunity for startups specializing in retail tech. Startups are solving a multitude of problems for online sellers, from customer acquisition and marketing to logistics and supply chain. Changes to consumer privacy policies like those made by Apple in 2021 are making it even trickier for merchants to find new customers, while brands both big and small have faced issues with shipping and materials sourcing this year.

Insider found 17 of the best retail tech startups for people to bet their career on in 2022, focusing on companies that are raising venture capital and currently hiring. We solicited recommendations from some of the top VCs investing in e-commerce and noted when they had financial stakes in the companies they nominated.

Some of the featured startups are working on ways for shoppers to check out with just one click, while others are focusing on maintaining site speeds and customer experience through the use of headless commerce, a tech infrastructure that divorces customer-facing platforms from their back-end code. Still others are helping companies to coordinate their logistics operations as they rapidly scale.

The startups' CEOs shared their plans for 2022 with Insider, as well as what makes their companies a great place to work. They'll be competing for talent as millions of workers have quit their jobs during "The Great Resignation" of 2021:


Canal

Canal's cofounders are Bennett Carroccio, Liam Kinney, and Clay Schubiner
Canal's cofounders are Bennett Carroccio (left), Liam Kinney (center), and Clay Schubiner (right). Canal

Picked by: Forerunner Ventures general partner Brian O'Malley (investor)

Total raised to date: $4.5 million, according to PitchBook

Currently hiring: Yes, for hybrid roles

Company headquarters: San Francisco

Why you should bet your career on this company: Canal enables online sellers to partner up to sell each other's goods on their sites, allowing potential customers to discover new brands without spending on advertising. O'Malley said that Canal combines two major popular e-commerce trends: the rise of dropshipping amid supply-chain woes, and the movement away from using traditional advertising to acquire customers. It plans to hire about 16 people in customer experience, marketing, product, and engineering in 2022.

A word from the CEO: "Canal's first year was about two things: perfecting our core technology and convening an exclusive network of like-minded brands that are looking to sell more without sacrificing authenticity," Canal cofounder and CEO Bennett Carroccio said.

"2022 is all about empowering the best new e-commerce experiences for our rapidly growing network and scaling aggressively. We will do that by building a diverse, dynamic team of people passionate about transforming the future of e-commerce."

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