Lerer Hippeau
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Lerer Hippeau

Please welcome Nacelle, a headless commerce solution supercharging online shopping

Meet Nacelle, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: Los Angeles

Founder: Brian Anderson

The problem: In 2020, a record number of consumers opted to visit digital storefronts over physical stores in a behavioral change that’s moved e-commerce forward by about five years. But as more and more spending shifts online, retailers will continue to encounter growing demand and higher expectations for better shopping experiences. Websites that win on delivering customers fast load times, mobile functionality, and safeguards against crashing, will be rewarded with better conversion, increased sales, and repeat business.

Nacelle’s solution: Nacelle is an API-driven platform that sits on top of a retailer’s existing back-end stack (PIM, CRM, OMS, and CMS) to provide a seamless, high-performance infrastructure to support front-end website development. Referred to as “headless commerce,” Nacelle provides e-commerce development teams access to scalable APIs, advanced front-end components, and back-end flexibility. That in turn results in overall improvements including site speed, scalability, consistency, and performance.

Origin story: Brian built his career as a full-stack engineer before founding ShopElf, a technical Shopify Plus agency specializing in custom headless builds for merchants. Using his deep technical expertise and understanding of opportunities in e-commerce, he launched Nacelle in 2019. The company raised a seed round totaling $4.8 million in spring 2020 and today announces an $18 million Series A.

Why we’re betting on it: Nacelle was originally introduced to us by one of our portfolio founders, Steve Kramer at Workjam, who was advising Brian on his go-to-market strategy. Steve introduced Brian as a unique talent shaping the future of commerce. As we got to know Brian, we came to agree. Brian has a great product sense and a deep understanding of the e-commerce technology stack from his experience with ShopElf. We believe Nacelle will solve a very clear pain point as e-commerce continues to take off and the shopper experience becomes increasingly important.

Our take: Through our previous investment in Loop Returns, we’ve seen the unbundling of the e-commerce stack as new businesses offer merchants best-in-class functionality. We expect to see more in the area and a future where API-driven point solutions replace outdated architecture. Nacelle can play a key role in uncoupling the back-end from the front-end experience, becoming the integration layer for the future of e-commerce infrastructure today and in the years to come.

Further reading: E-commerce infrastructure startup Nacelle closes $18M Series A” via TechCrunch.

Learn about careers at Nacelle.



Lerer Hippeau is an early-stage venture capital fund founded and operated in New York City. We invest in good people with great ideas who redefine categories — and create new ones entirely.

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Lerer Hippeau

Lerer Hippeau is the most active early-stage venture capital fund in New York.