UBX Fund I announced its lead initial investment into Minneapolis based ASDAL, Inc., developer of the GRIT E-commerce software platform. ASDAL was founded by Darrin Levine, an experienced software developer who recognized a need to help traditional brands optimize their e-commerce channels. Darrin has been working with Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) consultants to develop ASDAL and launch GRIT.
The vision for ASDAL’s software is to allow retail brands to seamlessly conduct business by applying traditional brick-and-mortar strategies to online marketplaces by using the GRIT software. GRIT allows retail teams to manage their tedious workflows and track their day-to-day operations more efficiently. It automatically alerts teams on their tasks, empowering them to understand KPIs better, learn best practices, and receive a quicker ROI. GRIT tools support different functional business areas, including inventory management, accounting, sales tracking, forecasting, marketing, and loss/damage reports. For example, the software helps logistics coordinators manage inventory and replenish stock amounts. GRIT determines the stock, turn rate, and popular items based on the current trends, enabling companies to make informed decisions. GRIT is already gaining significant momentum and traction in the marketplace. In 2019, ASDAL signed a Letter of Intent with L’Oréal to use GRIT and improve their online operations. A soft launch of ASDAL’s software is currently in process with almost 100 brands signed thus far and with another 200 brands expressing an interest in the software. GRIT is anticipating general availability in February 2021.
UBX is a Minneapolis-based private equity investment fund dedicated to creating and developing market leading companies within designated opportunity zones. UBX is a triple-bottom-line fund focused on bringing the benefits of a disciplined, operational-savvy investment approach and intelligent tax planning to the emerging economic zones that have been prioritized by federal and state governments. Lacy Johnson, the managing partner of UBX stated, “We are excited to be leading a wave of investment into companies focused on innovation, operational excellence, and bridging the digital divide. The impact of COVID-19 has led many companies to rethink their growth and expansion strategies, and we believe locating in (or relocating to) an opportunity zone can be a perfect choice, particularly given our ability to provide additional growth capital.”
MEDA is proud of the advances Darrin and his team have made on GRIT over the last couple of years. This investment marks a significant milestone taking ASDAL to the next level. MEDA’s mission is to help the businesses of entrepreneurs of color like ASDAL succeed. MEDA assists minority entrepreneurs like ASDAL with businesses located in opportunity zones by encouraging investments in low-income and urban communities. MEDA provides business consulting, access to capital, and market opportunities for minority entrepreneurs. In 2019, MEDA served 714 customers through its combined service offerings and helped minority businesses secure more than $17.2 billion in contracts. Since its beginning in 1971, MEDA has helped more than 20,000 entrepreneurs of color and assisted in the start-up of more than 550 businesses.
“We welcome UBX as our lead investor and look forward to working with them to develop our product suite and channels,” said Darrin Levine, CEO, and Co-founder of ASDAL, Inc.