Investment will drive Zoovu's U.S. market expansion and growth initiatives to solidify its position as the leading customer experience enablement solution for B2B and B2C brands
Zoovu, an AI-powered discovery experience platform for B2B and B2C e-commerce, announced today that it has raised $169 million led by FTV Capital, a sector-focused growth equity investor in innovative enterprise technology and services businesses. Zoovu will use the new funding to build out its go-to-market strategy and team, particularly in the United States, and strengthen its data-driven product platform to fuel a better e-commerce experience as it continues to empower businesses to help buyers discover products and make purchase decisions.
The ProVen VCTs first invested in the business in 2017 as part of its €5m Series A, and subsequently participated in its extended $19m Series B in 2019 alongside Target Global and EBRD. These investments were led by Eyal Malinger, Partner at Beringea, the investment manager of the ProVen VCTs. Over the course of the investment, the ProVen VCTs worked closely with the Zoovu leadership team to drive forward its international expansion. Following this funding round, the ProVen VCTs retains a stake in the business.
Over the past few years, as shopping has rapidly shifted from in-store to online, many brands and retailers have continued to struggle with successfully guiding consumers along a seamless journey from discovery to purchase. Customer confusion leads to a reduction in conversion rates, lower customer satisfaction and a higher number of returns on online purchases. Since 2020, e-commerce purchasing has accounted for nearly 20 percent of worldwide retail sales, projected to grow to 24.5 percent within the next three years. In the United States, legacy brands with a significant offline presence comprise the largest segment of e-commerce as they rush to shift to online offerings. Despite the transformational growth in e-commerce and record demand for digital solutions, significant gaps around product content and customer experience still exist, presenting a substantial opportunity to leverage technology to replicate the in-store experience in a digital setting.
Businesses and consumers today are often overwhelmed by choice paralysis, further exacerbated by complex catalogs, thousands of SKUs and filters that don’t understand context. Zoovu helps to remove friction from the online buying process by simplifying the customer experience through its user-friendly, all-in-one AI-driven platform. Zoovu automatically analyzes behavioral data and provides tips for optimizing performance, offering insights into buyer behavior, customer needs, preferences, product performance and current trends. Additionally, Zoovu structures product content and enriches it with conversational language to enable powerful and personalized product discovery experiences such as visual configurators, semantic search and conversational assistants across all digital channels and partners. The intelligent platform cleans and organizes data, making it discoverable and understandable. The company boasts a client roster of leading brands such as 3M, Euronics, Microsoft and Whirlpool.
“As the global e-commerce market continues to accelerate with more activity migrating online, the stakes have never been higher for all brands to deliver better digital experiences,” said Brad Bernstein, managing partner at FTV Capital. “When we first met the Zoovu team several years ago, we were immediately drawn to the way the company sits at the intersection of customer experience, digital transformation and e-commerce. By offering an intuitive, guided shopping experience, Zoovu’s platform delivers tangible ROI to brands by boosting conversion rates, average order value and customer satisfaction, ultimately driving meaningful increases in revenue.”
This funding continues the positive momentum for Zoovu which saw 85 percent growth in 2020 followed by 70 percent growth in 2021. Zoovu is currently generating over $25 billion in annual sales for its customers with millions of consumers interacting with its discovery experiences daily.
“As we look to further enhance our offering and grow our platform in the United States, we are excited to partner with a leading growth equity firm in the U.S.,” said Rob Mullen, CEO at Zoovu. “FTV’s operational resources and expansive Global Partner Network® will help bring Zoovu to even more brands, so they can deliver discovery experiences to consumers and ultimately increase conversion rates. The FTV team possesses an intimate understanding of the pain points enterprises face every day as e-commerce adoption continues to accelerate. We are confident that together we will build Zoovu into the leading customer experience enablement solution.”
“Today’s buyers want to engage directly with vendors, on their own time. At 3M we see this as an opportunity to expand our channel capabilities and provide digital experiences that make it easy to select and purchase the right 3M products for our buyer’s needs,” said Ryan Satre, senior manager of e-commerce strategy at 3M. “Using Zoovu, we’ve exceeded buyer expectations for what B2B buying can be and continue to see extraordinary ROI that solidifies our investment in prioritizing e-commerce channels.”
Bernstein, Alex Malvone, principal at FTV Capital, and Bob Ranaldi, chief revenue advisor at FTV Capital, will join Zoovu’s board of directors as part of the investment.
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Find out more about the ProVen VCTs’ annual shareholder event, which featured insights from Beringea, the investment manager, the boards of the two funds, as well as several of the companies from the portfolio
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