Boston, Mass. – December 13, 2018 — Celect, a market leader in predictive analytics and inventory optimization for retailers, today announced it has closed $15 million in Series C financing led by NGP Capital and existing investor Fung Capital. Previous investors Activant Capital and August Capital also joined the round. The company will use the funding to fuel its continued expansion and accelerate retail market penetration of its groundbreaking Inventory Optimization Suite.
“While few things remain constant in retail, the customer always comes first. One of a retailer’s toughest dilemmas is determining what, when, where and how much customers will buy, but advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence can now solve that problem,” said Upal Basu, partner at NGP Capital. “Led by a seasoned executive team, Celect’s advanced analytics platform offers retailers a reliable way to anticipate – and generate value from – customers’ ever-changing needs. By accurately predicting future demand, Celect helps retailers overcome longstanding inventory obstacles, while driving revenue and gross-margin increases."
The award-winning technology allows retailers and brands to predict future buying patterns and behavior (both online and in-store) so they can make better, more profitable merchandising, allocation and fulfillment decisions. Purpose-built for retail, Celect has successfully helped top brands such as the ALDO Group, Lucky Brand, Neiman Marcus, Polo and Urban Outfitters increase revenue and gross margins, reduce markdowns, increase full-price sell through, boost in-store conversions and minimize stockouts -- all while improving the shopper experience.
“As a fashion retailer focused on delivering a quality product to customers in a time-sensitive manner, the ALDO Group is always looking to evolve and adapt our supply chain technology,” noted Jennifer Maks, senior vice president of omnichannel at the ALDO Group. “These fulfillment optimization initiatives have proven successful to date and we look forward to continuing this positive trend and further optimizing the efficient fulfillment of customers’ online orders from across our global network.”
With this funding, Celect aims to ensure all retailers can make accurate demand predictions that optimize retail inventories throughout the entire product lifecycle, from planning and buying through allocation, fulfillment and markdown. The company plans to rapidly expand its engineering and sales teams, further enhance its patented technology solutions, and aggressively grow its market share.
“Localized and dynamic consumer demands require that retailers use data and technology to transform their business to operate in an omni-channel world,” said Janie Yu, partner at Fung Capital. “In order for retailers to compete and thrive, they must embrace predictive analytics to optimize their inventory and modernize their supply chains, so they can meet consumer demand across all channels and down to the individual stores.”
Given their expertise in applying machine learning in enterprise environments and the retail industry at large, NGP Capital’s Upal Basu and Fung Capital’s Janie Yu joined the Board of Directors to actively support the company’s growth plans.
“Inventory continues to be both retailers’ largest liability and greatest asset, and in today’s volatile market there is simply no room for guesswork or reliance on backwards looking data,” added Celect CEO John Andrews. “We are committed to giving retailers and brands the tools they need to make effective inventory-related decisions so they can thrive now and in the years ahead.”
To learn more, come see Celect at NRF 2019: Retail's BIG Show (booth 1125), January 13-15 at the Javits Center in NYC. Hear from Celect customer, Lucky Brand, during a special speaking event highlighting their experience adopting advanced analytics on Monday, January 14th at 4 PM in Expo Hall Level 3, Stage 6.
Celect is a cloud-based, predictive analytics SaaS platform that helps retailers optimize their overall inventory portfolios in stores and across the supply chain, resulting in double-digit percentage revenue increases. This groundbreaking advance in machine learning and optimization allows retailers to understand how an individual customer shopping in store or online chooses from an assortment of products, revealing true demand. The technology builds on a fundamental advance in customer choice modeling called by MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory one of the 50 greatest innovations it has ever produced. Learn more: http://www.celect.com/.
About NGP Capital
NGP Capital is a globally engaged venture capital fund backing growth-stage and revenue-generating technology companies that will shape and power a fully connected world. By operating one, global fund with over $1.2 billion under management, we extend us our companies’ reach via on-the-ground teams in U.S., Europe, India and China making our portfolio company products and services local everywhere. Visit us at www.ngpcap.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter: @ngpcapital.
About Fung Capital
Fung Capital is the investment arm of the Fung family in Hong Kong, which separately controls the Fung Group that sources, distributes, and retails consumer products globally. The Fung Group of companies include Li & Fung, Global Brands Group, and Fung Retailing. Fung Capital invests in B2B technology companies that enable omni-channel retailing, improve supply chain efficiency and optimize logistics operations.
Erica Camilo Connexa Communications for NGP Capital