Retail data platform SoundCommerce brought in $15 million in Series A funding from Emergence Capital 1 to equip consumer brands with technology enabling them to provide shopper experiences that drive profitable growth.
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Co-founders Eric Best and Jared Stiff started the Seattle-based company in 2018 after working together at Amazon and now touts clients such as Eddie Bauer, Lucky Brand and FTD.
“We’re making it affordable, fast and manageable to adopt modern cloud infrastructure, specifically data warehouses, like Snowflake,” CEO Best told Crunchbase News. “The second thing that we’re doing is that by bringing data together in a way that makes it actionable for these brands and retailers, we’re helping them align their business around their most strategic objectives.”
The company’s operations data platform collects data from any source and models the metrics and relationships most important to retailers, whether that is customers, orders, shipments or the front-end marketing stack, to enable brands to make better decisions, Best said.
In addition, the platform integrates with major commerce systems, including Amazon, Shopify, Magento and Salesforce 2, and tracks real-time operational events, profitability and customer lifetime value to provide insights.
In 2020, Amazon accounted for nearly one-third of e-commerce in the U.S., according to a Digital Commerce 360 report. Overall, e-commerce grew 44 percent year over year, with the online portion — boosted by the global pandemic — of retail sales accounting for nearly 22 percent, up from 15.8 percent in 2019.
“What’s interesting about this is that independent brands drove that growth in a more significant way than Amazon did,” Best said. “The expectation is that Amazon is going to start to experiment with e-commerce enablement beyond the branded storefront it operates.”
Meanwhile, the new funding gives SoundCommerce a total of $21.5 million in venture-backed funding since 2018, Best said. This includes a $6.5 million seed round in 2019, led by Defy.vc, according to Crunchbase data.
Since raising the seed round, the company has been working on building its technology and proving product market fit. SoundCommerce went after the Series A following accelerated growth and will continue to work on its technology and formalize its go-to-market strategy and product, Best said.
“We are feeling e-commerce tailwinds in the market; our annual recurring revenue grew 300 percent from 2019 to 2020, and we expect a similar growth trajectory this year,” he added. “We have a clear roadmap of the specific modules that we intend to launch. There are additional retail functions we’re building out for this year, and we’re also formalizing partnerships with larger SaaS providers and cloud providers in this market.”
What investors have to say
Joe Floyd, general partner of Emergence Capital, a cloud-focused VC firm focused on Series A, was introduced to SoundCommerce by a seed investor as a possible fit for the firm’s modern data stack thesis.
When Floyd had an initial conversation with Best, he said he felt they aligned on the same thing: the thesis and how Emergence viewed the world, and thought it was a good fit.
“Emergence was looking for somebody who had industry domain expertise, so they understood the industry, and they could use their relationships to kind of pry open those first big customers,” Floyd said in an interview. “Eric and his co-founder, Jared, had that rare combination of industry expertise and data expertise.”
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