The weekly Retail Tech Roundup compiles technology news across the supply chain, manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, logistics and fulfillment sectors.
End-to-end retail planning solutions provider Aptos has acquired Revionics, a provider of pricing, promotion and competitive insights, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is expected to close in September.
Revionics’ cloud-based price optimization solutions will serve as a natural extension to Aptos’ Merchandise Lifecycle Management suite, which is designed to help retailers optimize every aspect of the product lifecycle. Revionics helps retailers manage and optimize strategies for omnichannel pricing, promotions and markdowns.
Pending the acquisition’s close, Aptos’ and Revionics’ blended customer base will include more than 1,000 retail brands in 65 countries. According to Revionics Chairman and CEO Marc Hafner, the acquisition comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced retailers to move quickly and try innovative tactics, including pricing strategies.
Hafner said in a statement that Revionics is seeing “record demand” for its platform throughout the pandemic.
Hafner said the current plan is to keep most Revionics employees at its Austin, Texas, headquarters, which will continue expanding the technology base.
The planned acquisition of Revionics follows Aptos’ recent announcement of its completed acquisition by affiliates of Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division.
Yotpo, a cloud-based e-commerce marketing platform that focuses on direct-to-consumer brands, has secured $75 million in Series E funding, bringing its fundraising total to $176 million.
The investment will help build out the product set within the Yotpo platform, which includes reviews, visual user generated content (UGC), loyalty, referrals and SMS marketing. The integrated, multi-solution platform is designed to provide retail marketers with unified customer content, cross-product behavior data, deeper audience segmentation and predictive analytics.
Yotpo has experienced record growth with a 300 percent increase in customers in 2019 and a 250 percent increase in annual recurring revenue (ARR) since its last raise in November 2017. The company expects to double its revenue within the next two years.
During the early months of COVID-19, Yotpo saw an explosion of sign-ups to help achieve 170 percent year-over-year net new ARR, as well as record lows in customer churn.
Using Yotpo, Ministry of Supply doubled its referral revenue after adding both loyalty and referral programs, while Steve Madden, using three of its solutions, saw 50 percent faster order growth than brands that leverage one Yotpo offering.
Yotpo now has approximately 500 additional strategic partners, including Salesforce, Adobe, BigCommerce and others. Existing investor Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) led the round, with other prior investors Access Industries and Vertex Ventures participating among others. Hanaco, a venture capital firm that backs early-stage startups, joined the round as a new investor.
Splitit, an Australia-based “buy now, pay later” platform that enables shoppers to pay installments via their credit cards, raised $71.5 million dollars in a private placement and share purchase plan. The fundraise has attracted a number of institutional investors including Woodson Capital Management, L.P.
The funds will be used to accelerate sales and marketing, plus further investments in product and technology.
This fundraising comes after strong second-quarter growth including a 260 percent year-over-year increase in merchant sales volume and $2.4 million in quarterly revenue, growing 460 percent year over year. Splitit is currently used by over 1,000 e-commerce merchants and 309,000 shoppers with an average order value of $893, and plays in a similar sandbox as pay-later offerings from Afterpay, Klarna and Affirm.
Odd Concepts, a South Korea-based fashion technology, launched StyleCrush, an AI-powered style discovery platform designed to let consumers collect fashion images according to their tastes in a digital album. Odd Concepts has debuted the StyleCrush platform in Singapore.
When shoppers upload style images like celebrity photos or paste in image links to StyleCrush, the AI system searches similar-looking apparel, footwear and accessories items and directs consumers to where they can purchase the products. Consumers can build a wish list among the fashion products discovered through search and create an album with their preferred style images.
Odd Concepts collaborates with Suggesty and Sta1 of South Korea, as well as Qoo10, the largest shopping mall in Singapore, to help consumers discover a variety of fashion styles on StyleCrush.
Suggesty is an online mall selling AI-curated Korean designer brands internationally and will share its database and apparels with StyleCrush. Sta1 is a Korean fashion platform where more than 1 million products from over 6,000 brands are registered.
Since February, through the acquisition of Seacrux, a Singaporean startup, Odd Concepts has been promoting contextual targeting ad business based on applied machine learning, which is a service to analyze fashion products in the images of webpages viewed by consumers and suggest similar products to them, in the APAC markets.
Printful, a provider of print-on-demand drop shipping and fulfillment warehouse services, has partnered with a manufacturing company in Japan. The partnership is designed to enable Printful to improve product delivery time and lower shipping prices for products fulfilled in the market.
Printful will start with offering six direct-to-garment (DTG) apparel products from brands like Anvil and Gildan, with the option to print only on the front of the garment. Printful will continuously expand its product catalog and capabilities.
The average domestic delivery time for these DTG products is expected to be one to three business days, an improvement from the previous average of eight to 30 business days for DTG items shipped to Japan from other Printful facilities.
While the partnership is designed to build a more localized experience for Japanese customers, Printful has operated a Japanese website and accepted Japanese yen since 2019.
Printful also recently announced that it now offers its website in German, where customers will be able to reach out to German-speaking support representatives. Between 2019 and 2020, the Germany market alone has grown 198 percent year over year for Printful. While the site is designed to offer shoppers in Germany a more localized experience as well, the experience will also benefit large audiences is countries like Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy, all of which have a significant number of German-speaking shoppers.
Since January, U.S.-based Printful has made a significant international push, opening a new fulfillment center in Spain and announcing plans to open a fulfillment center in Canada, as well as launching a French version of its website and partnering with two Australian fulfillment partners.
Searchspring, a provider of intelligent site search and merchandising solutions for online retailers, has acquired online personalization provider 4-Tell for an undisclosed sum. With the acquisition, Searchspring plans to roll out its new personalization features in October.
In a statement, Searchspring CEO Peter Messana said the 4-Tell technology allows the company to speed up the delivery of enhanced product recommendations while enabling personalization across its suite of features.
The personalization engine at the center of this acquisition was developed in 2009 and placed in the top 1.5 percent out of over 40,000 entries in the Netflix Prize, a competition designed to accurately predict how much a viewer would enjoy a selection based on preference.
Searchspring says the 4-Tell technology accelerates its roadmap by almost two years, stacking the team with “seasoned personalization experts.” The news comes after the company recently announced expansion into the APAC region, and hired a new vice president of product.
Lightspeed, a cloud-based point-of-sale and commerce solutions provider, has unveiled the initial availability of Lightspeed Capital, the company’s new financing offering powered by payments processing platform Stripe.
Through financing offers, this new product is designed to help U.S.-based merchants with overall business growth, more specifically to buy inventory, invest in marketing or manage cash flows. It is available for retailers using Lightspeed Payments in the U.S. and provides financing of up to $50,000 per retail location.
Lightspeed says there is no lengthy application process or collateral obligations, and approved funds are typically deposited the next day. A percentage of daily sales will automatically be repaid against the borrowed amounts, keeping repayment flexible to suit the needs of the business. Retailers can review how much has been repaid in real time with data built into Lightspeed’s software, providing one platform to manage both payments and capital funds.
Capital approval is based on a retailer’s history with Lightspeed Payments, and draws on data from Stripe’s global business network.
As part of Lightspeed’s effort to support merchants throughout the pandemic, the company is hosting regular webinars to equip SMBs with essential information on financial planning, social media sales integrations, how to maximize retail revenue and more. To kick off August, the company launched a Mobile Tap feature and a new digital wallet for its retail clients.
Pixevia, a retail automation company, has secured 1 million euros ($1.18 million) to help the company refine its technology to deploy “smart stores” and expand to other European countries, focusing on retail and gas station chains. The startup already launched its first AI-driven store in the summer of 2019, in Vilnius, Lithuania. The store is designed to eliminate long queues that could cost retailers billions of euros in potential sales.
The smart stores use ceiling cameras that observe customers and smart shelves, which enables them to keep track of the products. There are no cashiers—the store automatically detects items taken from the shelves and creates a virtual shopping cart. Pixevia’s AI algorithm continuously analyzes the data received from the cameras and shelves to ensure the process is swift and accurate.
Pixevia says it aims to set up convenience stores without cashiers or long queues “on every corner of every city” and reduce the consumer’s shopping time to as little as 20 seconds.
The investments come from venture capital firms Iron Wolf Capital, Open Circle Capital, Practica Capital and angel investors Mantas Mikuckas, co-founder and chief operating officer of online fashion marketplace Vinted, and Tomas Okmanas and Eimantas Sabaliauskas, co-founders of security solutions platform Tesonet.