CommerceIQ turns unicorn in $115 mn funding round

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CommerceIQ turns unicorn in $115 mn funding round led by SoftBank

Bengaluru: CommerceIQ has raised $115 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, valuing the e-commerce Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startup at more than $1 billion and making it the 12th Indian startup unicorn of this year.

Insight Partners, Trinity Ventures, Shasta Ventures, and Madrona Venture Group also participated in the round. The fresh funding follows a $60 million round in June 2021, bringing the total funds raised in the past 12 months to $175 million.

CommerceIQ provides software to brands that help them sell better on eCommerce platforms, mainly Amazon. It will use the latest funds to expand business in India and abroad, add more platforms, and develop more tools and products. The company currently operates in the United States, Canada, and Europe apart from India.

“For large consumer brands, winning in ecommerce is no longer a side business or experiment,” said Guru Hariharan, chief executive of CommerceIQ. “While e-commerce growth is often faster than brick-and-mortar, most brands have challenges with achieving attractive profit margins and managing the scale and complexity of running a business through retail e-commerce channels, which are powered by AI algorithms and APIs on the other end.

” CommerceIQ charges an annual subscription, which is based on the prospective client’s business. It plans to build 8-10 products on its software soon. “We have to solve for Flipkart and BigBasket next,” said Prasun Kumar, VP of engineering and head of India operations. Kumar said that companies saw about a 20% jump in sales after deploying CommerceIQ’s software.

The company’s clients have yet to see significant traction on quick commerce platforms compared to marketplaces such as Flipkart, Amazon, and BigBasket, he added. Three of its new products are already live – eCommerce sales and operations; retail media management, which involves advertising; and supply chain management, which ensures that brands do not run out of stock.

“As e-commerce penetration continues to surge, competition and technical complexity will make it harder than ever for brands to stand out online,” said Priya Saiprasad, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We believe that CommerceIQ can provide companies with a substantial edge by harnessing the power of algorithms and automation to supercharge their online presence.”

Saiprasad will join CommerceIQ board of directors.

The company said it has more than 2,200 clients, including Nestle, Colgate, and Whirlpool. CommerceIQ has helped clients “think about e-commerce strategy rather than just think about e-commerce operations,” Kumar said. “Our software will be able to perform better than any human being,” he said. For example, if a competitor does a flash sale on Amazon, CommerceIQ software can help a brand plan its next move.

“It is just not possible without the help of software. That is what has happened to eCommerce. Things change so much, and Amazon has so many controls that you have to tweak things daily,” he said.

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