19 of the most promising retail startups of 2021, according to top VCs


By Bethany Biron, Candy Cheng and April Joyner

June 22, 2021

Material Bank: a robot-operated design marketplace

Mitchell Green is a founder and managing partner of Lead Edge Capital.

Startup: Material Bank

Recommended by: Mitchell Green, Lead Edge Capital

Relationship: Investor

Total funding: $148.84 million

What it does: Material Bank is a marketplace for design materials that ships samples overnight from its warehouse in Memphis, Tennessee.

Why it’s on the list: The startup has been described as the Amazon of design, and its secret is a warehouse, operated by robots, that’s next to FedEx’s global shipping hub. Material Bank recently raised $100 million from General Catalyst, Bain, and others to double down on growth.

“Ordering samples is a broken process, and Material Bank makes it vastly easier. As a result, users love it,” said Green, calling the company a “market leader” in a large, new category.