CommerceIQ comes into play as capital continues to flow into ecommerce infrastructure startups – TechCrunch

As much of shopping moves online during the global pandemic, startups that develop software and other products to support the transition are starting to attract attention from companies. venture capital firm.

We’ve seen companies across the e-commerce infrastructure and supporting ecosystem attract bigger and bigger rounds, and CommerceIQ is the latest way to secure end-of-life financing. The CEO is Guru Hariharan, who you may remember from retail analytics company Boomerang CommerceFinalist of Startup Battlefield 2014. He left the company to go to Lowe’s in 2019.

Hariharan’s background is in machine learning and e-commerce, and while working at Amazon, he said the goal was to get people out of the equation in retail, and so his team built the software. software, called Amazon Sell Coach, on how to interact with brands.

As people started moving their purchases of items, from tools to toothpaste, to Amazon and other marketplaces, Hariharan wanted to start a company that could power all that money.

Guru Hariharan, CommerceIQ

Image credits: CommerceIQ / Guru Hariharan, CEO of CommerceIQ

“If you look at the retail landscape as a whole – buying products from one brand, then buying and selling needs to be balanced,” says Hariharan. “I left to start the company to focus on building the sell-side equation for brands to sell and communicating with the retailers on the buy-side.”

CommerceIQ’s retail e-commerce management tools automate and unify aspects, like category analysis and retail vehicle management, sales and operations, under one roof for brands . Customers can expect an average sales growth of 18%, he added.

The Bay Area-based company currently works with more than 2,200 brands, such as Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Kimberly Clark and Bayer, managing incremental sales, portfolio market share and unit profitability. through online retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Instacart.

CommerceIQ closed $115 million in Series D funding, bringing the company’s valuation to more than $1 billion. The latest funding comes less than a year from a $60 million Series C round that took place in June 2021. It also gives CommerceIQ a total of $175 million in capital secured over the past 12 months. and $196 million to date.

The funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and included participation from existing investors, including Insight Partners, Trinity Ventures, Shasta Ventures and Madrona Venture Group.

As part of the investment, Priya Saiprasad, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, will join CommerceIQ’s board of directors.

“E-commerce penetration has grown at an unprecedented rate, and online channels are a strategic priority for big brands,” she said. “The traditional strategy isn’t moving to e-commerce, but the old way of spreadsheets and human-driven operations won’t scale. CommerceIQ is the leading funnel optimization platform that enables the biggest brands to win in retail. ”

In addition to the opportunity to work with Saiprasad, Hariharan said the drive to continue pursuing new capital – especially as their seed fund is still firmly in the bank – has seen a $4 million retail industry, $5 trillion at a major inflection point. That figure includes the $1 trillion flowing through e-commerce, and the entire industry is growing in 5 years within 12 months during a global pandemic.

Regarding the $1 trillion disruption in e-commerce, Hariharan estimates about $150 billion goes directly to consumers, while another $850 billion goes to consumers indirectly, like Walmart sites , Target and GoPuff.

That’s why he believes now is the time to accelerate CommerceIQ. The company ended 2021 with 106% year-over-year revenue growth, 113% growth in the number of customers served, and a 100% increase in the number of employees globally.

The company is also growing in the auto sector, reaching 215 million units last year, up 70 million units in a year. This year, Hariharan is expected to deliver 500 million cars. Meanwhile, $1.1 billion is flowing through software, up from $250 million last year.

The new funding will allow CommerceIQ to accelerate R&D and M&A activities, which Hariharan said will focus on potential opportunities to move deeper and broader into vertical SaaS, while also looking at expansion. to Europe and Asia Pacific regions.

He added: “We are taking more chances and throwing fuel on the fire, but we are building up the power to throw fuel into the blazing fire.

The real fire is burning across the e-commerce infrastructure ecosystem, with companies announcing new funding practically daily.

Talia Goldberg, a partner at Bessemer Ventures, told me that “this is a great time to get into an e-commerce-enabled business on favorable terms and conditions.”

“One of the reasons it’s such an attractive space to invest in is that people are paying attention to the strength of the business and growth, but it’s just such a large market,” she added. . “There are so many opportunities to get started, and for some businesses, there won’t be a winner taking all, but a number of top players that will dominate the market in different ways.”

London & Partners and reported this month that $51 billion in venture capital was invested in U.S. digital procurement companies in 2021, up from $23 billion in 2020. Globally, the number that was $140 billion last year versus $68 billion the year before. It certainly doesn’t slow down. Here are some of the pieces we’ve seen this month:

  • Akeneo, focusing on product experience and information management, has brought $135 million in the EASY Series sponsor. We’ve profiled them before.
  • Intuitivo, an Argentina-based AI and computer vision startup, has raised $7.8 million in a seed funding round to develop an in-person shopping experience that turns any refrigerator or refrigerator into a smart item.
  • Canal, which has developed a connected commerce app so brands can directly manage relationships with the suppliers whose products they sell, has raised $22.5 million in Series A. and launched in the Shopify App Store.

Meanwhile, Ryan Lee, co-founder and CEO of marketplace launcher Nautical Commerce, said we’re likely to continue to see traction as commercial technology companies continue to move in. e-commerce support tools.

“The incumbents are over 20 years old and built on stale infrastructure created before smartphones and social media,” he added. “Over the next decade, we will connect commerce and other tools to share your catalog everywhere buyers go.”

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