Marketing tech firm Bluecore nabs $125m Series E round

Bluecore, a New York-based marketing technology company, has secured $125 million in a Series E financing.

Bluecore, a New York-based marketing technology company, has secured $125 million in a Series E financing. The round, which values Bluecore at $1 billion, was led by Canadian growth equity firm Georgian, with participation from existing investors FirstMark and Norwest and new investor Silver Lake Waterman.

PRESS RELEASE

August 05, 2021

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bluecore, the retail technology company transforming casual shoppers into lifetime customers for the world’s fastest growing retail brands, today announced the close of its $125 million Series E funding round. The round was led by existing investor Georgian, a multi-billion dollar fintech company that invests in high-growth software companies leveraging data in powerful ways. Georgian has doubled its investment in Bluecore for the second year in a row. It was joined by other existing investors FirstMark and Norwest, and new investor Silver Lake Waterman. The new investment brings Bluecore’s total funding to more than $225 million and puts its valuation at $1 billion.

The company will use the funding to accelerate its ecommerce product development and investment in AI and analytics. In contrast to major marketing clouds and legacy technologies built for mass marketing, Bluecore was built for the world of online shopping. It prioritizes and delivers on mission critical ecommerce KPIs that directly influence retail growth, including increased purchase frequency and customer lifetime value. As a result, the company is directly responsible for driving billions in Gross Merchandising Value (GMV) for hundreds of retailers.

Omnichannel Retail is Now Digitally-Led
Over the last two years, the retail world has seen sales shift from 85% in physical stores to a 50/50 online-offline split, as shoppers migrated to convenient, personalized customer experiences. Now, more than three quarters of shoppers are expected to begin their experience with a retailer through digital channels, independent of whether the ultimate purchase takes place online or in physical stores.

In this new digital-first world, acquisition is only the beginning of the journey with a shopper. Transforming one-time buyers into repeat customers is critical for long-term growth, and requires creating a series of compelling moments as shoppers explore and evaluate products digitally. This is impossible to achieve through general purpose systems and results in slow and disconnected digital experiences. Brands selling on digital channels need solutions built specifically for ecommerce.

Bluecore Propels eCommerce Growth
Marketing that focuses on the entire customer lifecycle is the most influential lever brands have to drive ecommerce growth, whether as part of an omnichannel strategy or a pure play direct-to-consumer model.

Bluecore is able to act on the volume and variety of real-time shopper signals that retailers need to grow customer loyalty. Its predictive retail AI platform merges three traditionally disconnected data sets into a single unified view that includes Shopper Identity (who is the shopper?), Shopper Behavior (how and where are they engaging with products?), and Product Catalogue (which products are they engaging with?).

Positioned at the core of retailers’ digital marketing stacks, Bluecore leverages this first-party data to predict and execute on the exact experience a shopper should receive–across owned and paid digital channels, including email, ecommerce websites, and social media and search ads.

Visibility into this convergence of consumer interactions and product data additionally allows Bluecore’s most advanced customers to make more informed merchandising and pricing decisions, and forecast supply chain logistics.

“We’re in an era of Personal Commerce, where retailers are no longer competing solely with other brands; they’re competing with every other digital experience, too. As a result, shoppers expect the same level of 1:1 curation from retail brands that they’re getting from platforms like Netflix, Spotify and other exceptional experiences,” said Fayez Mohamood, CEO and Founder of Bluecore. “We’ve spent the past eight years building for this inevitable moment where all retailers are driving growth through ecommerce. Our role will always be to predict the industry’s shifts so we can guide retailers’ through ongoing transformation.”
Lead investor Georgian also led Bluecore’s series B in 2015 and Series D in 2020. Its Series E investment in Bluecore is its largest to date. The billion-dollar-plus fund specializes in AI companies, and is investing aggressively in the ecommerce and digital retail space.

“Bluecore has been building towards this current moment in commerce since Georgian first invested in 2015. It’s incredible to see the firm’s vision realized as online shopping has moved from an increasingly popular trend to the default mode of commerce for many people,” said Tyson Baber, Lead Investor at Georgian Partners. “We’re excited to be able to extend our investment and be part of Bluecore’s ongoing and enduring success.”

Bluecore was one of the first in the industry to introduce a completely success-driven pricing model, where clients pay solely based on traffic and conversions generated by the AI. Its solutions are in use by major omnichannel retailers including Jockey, NOBULL, 4ocean, Lane Bryant and Foot Locker, and hundreds of other brands.

About Bluecore
Bluecore is a marketing technology company that’s transforming casual shoppers into lifetime customers for the world’s fastest growing retail brands. Through its patented shopper and product matching and the release of Bluecore Communicate™, Bluecore Site™, and Bluecore Advertise™ brands are now able to personalize 100% of communications delivered to consumers through their email, ecommerce and paid media shopping experiences. Bluecore replaces manual processes with an intelligent, AI-driven workflow, allowing brands to manage these communications through a single interface. In 2019, the company bet big on itself when it introduced the industry’s first shared-success pricing model. It’s now credited with doubling email revenue, and increasing customer retention, lifetime value and overall speed to marketing for more than 400 brands, including Express, Tommy Hilfiger, The North Face, Teleflora, and Bass Pro Shops.