Riga-based Molport wants to do for molecules what Amazon has done for books -- make it easy to search and receive the chemicals you need for research and industry. According to the company, approximately seven million unique research chemicals are sold worldwide by thousands of companies, many of them small labs. Searching for and sourcing these chemicals is a major pain point for researchers. MolPort brings these independent retailers together to form a rare chemical compound marketplace.
So far MolPort supports centralized ordering from over 200 companies from the large suppliers to more of your mom-and-pop chemical retailers. You can also get quotes to have your compounds made to order. To receive you quote, you note the details for each compound you need, like required purity, favorite suppliers, and desired quantity. You then receive a price quote with no obligation to buy.
One area MolPort doesn't get into is the controlled chemical substances that governments have put restrictions on. The company is all for making the trading of rare laboratory chemicals easier, but also says that controlled substances are well known and so are their suppliers. Because of this it is more appropriate to purchase these chemicals through your regular supplier.
But what's got to be the coolest feature offered by MolPort is its the ability to draw the chemical structure or part of the molecules you need. This advanced chemical structure search helps sophisticated users be sure they get exactly the chemicals they need.
The shop was released only a couple days ago, and I'm a fan of their design. You could look at MolPort as a simple e-commerce site, but they really offer some unique features that should make them a killer solution for their niche.