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Claiborne Deming Among Investors in John James Startup

2 min read

Fayetteville-based startup Engine announced Tuesday that it has raised $1 million in venture capital to fund a cloud-based e-commerce software platform.

Among the company’s initial investors is Claiborne Deming of El Dorado, who will serve on Engine’s board of directors with founders John James and Jim Kane, both of Fayetteville. 

Deming is chairman of the board of Murphy Oil Corp. of El Dorado, a publicly traded oil company. He was president and CEO from 1994 to 2008.

James is the CEO of Hayseed Ventures. Engine’s news release said James has invested in 16 startups and raised more than $100 million in venture capital for a variety of enterprises. Among those enterprises was Acumen Brands, which James co-founded in 2009.

“Engine is building an e-commerce solution tailored to fit digital brands that seek a one-of-a-kind customer experience,” James said in a news release. “I started Engine with the belief that there must be a better way than the clunky, old status quo to manage and operate an e-commerce platform. When beta testing of our platform concludes this spring, we expect to have a product that truly stands out and positions retailers for success in the e-commerce marketplace.”

Deming said Engine will “revolutionize the e-commerce space” and help companies grow.

“Engine, with its headquarters in northwest Arkansas, can capitalize on its proximity to leaders in retail to collaborate, network and learn from each other,” Deming said. “I am glad to be on the ground floor of a project that will change e-commerce for the better.”

Engine did not disclose details about Deming’s investment.

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