As traditional brands grapple with a new world where selling online is just as important or even more important than positioning in a physical store, a startup to help them have all of their inventory, marketing and sales strategies on one page To sum up, a major round of funding.
Salsify offers brands and the companies behind them a central place to track product inventories, manage their description and sale in various online and offline locations, and then analyze the data to find out what further steps to take in A $ 155 million Series E financing round led by Warburg Pincus, with the participation of other undisclosed investors.
The financing comes against the backdrop of a big 2020 for Salsify, which, like many other companies active in the broader e-commerce sector, has seen a strong tailwind from Covid-19. Especially with many continuing to adhere to the rules of social distancing, shopping and browsing the internet has changed after a major shift.
"Companies are realizing they need a strong digital footprint," said Jason Purcell, CEO and co-founder, simply in an interview. "Whether it's Amazon or another marketplace or their own website, Covid has given many brands a fraction of the thought process: If we don't have a strong digital footprint, we can't get involved."
The company is addressing a very fundamental (but I think “lucky”) problem in the world of online trading. It's an extremely fragmented landscape with a myriad of potential ways for a brand to connect with prospects: their own websites, those of other retailers, larger marketplaces, social channels, direct sales via messaging or email, and much more.
And that's before you consider the offline channels that, despite the move to online shopping, are still very popular for many of us.
That is, in fact, the rationale behind the company's name, Purcell told me. Salsify might be called a black root vegetable by some, which looks a bit like a thin white carrot when peeled, but has a sweet and mild taste. But it's also a wildflower that's a bit like a dandelion: it grows everywhere and its flowers spread far and wide, a metaphor for the vast, fragmented world of online retail. Purcell said he and the founders originally wanted to name the company "Dandelion," but it was acquired (in fact, there are a lot of dandelion-themed companies) so it was salsify.
Salsify includes many big names such as Coca Cola, Rubbermaid, and Mars. In total, the company has around 800 customers on its books, 225 of whom have sales of more than 1 billion US dollars. Since its last round, a Series D in 2018, the company has seen a business boom of over 120% net retention.
Purcell said his company plans to use the funding in two main areas. First, there are plans to further expand the product stack, which is currently based on the company's CommerceXM platform (for "Experience Management"). This includes functions for managing product information, digital assets and managing the sale of products through your own website and marketplaces, online and offline retailers and social channels and more.
Second, the company is aiming for international expansion. The company is based in Boston and opened its first international headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal a few years ago. There are currently around 40 overseas customers and plans to double the expansion and start new business for both them and their US overseas customers.
Purcell, who co-founded the company with Jeremy Redburn (chief data officer) and Rob Gonzalez (CMO), said the company will not disclose its valuation but will only confirm that it is “significant pride in comparison to Salsify in its most recent valuation “Is fundraise, which, according to PitchBook, was $ 308 million.
To date, Salsify had raised around $ 96 million from investors such as Matrix Partners, Venrock, and North Bridge Venture Partners.
Purcell added that the round and key investor choice are very much in line with the company's ambitions to go public at some point.
"This points us on the way to an IPO," he said. “The intention is to build a company that can operate as a public company. It's about how we hold our own against public corporations while also making sure we can do the same from a growth perspective. Warburg Pincus has listed 150 companies on the stock exchange, and we are building with this in mind. "
Warburg Pincus has been a fairly prolific growth investor whose involvement does not, in fact, indicate its existing scale and success, but rather greater ambition. Other companies it has supported include CrowdStrike, Avalara, Samsara, Ant Group, Privitar, Trax, and Gojek.
“Salsify is a clear leader, serving some of the largest and most sophisticated global brands and retailers. The company's strong track record coupled with a talented executive team has positioned it well to drive demand for digital shelf solutions, ”said Vishnu Menon, managing director of Warburg Pincus, in a statement.
"We are excited to partner with Salsify to help brands build better, longer lasting online relationships with consumers," said Michael Ding, Vice President of Warburg Pincus.