Custora just announced a $6.5MM Series A round of funding from VC firms Foundation Capital and Greycroft Partners. We wanted to share some of our thoughts on the journey so far, what’s to come in the year ahead, and of course say thank you for being a part of it all.
It’s an equally exciting and challenging time to be a retail marketer.
On one hand, brands have never before had access to so many ways to communicate with their customers. Everyday you get emails about the brands you care about. You can “follow” companies and actually have conversations with them. Nasty Gal has 1.5 million fans on Instagram. McDonald’s actually responds to questions on Facebook. The President recently hosted an Ask Me Anything on Reddit. It’s crazy. This is a marketer’s dream, so many direct ways to interact with customers.
On the other hand, communications media has changed so quickly and dramatically that marketers are now facing an abundance of marketing tools and channels and most importantly, data. So much data with massive latent potential. Brands get it by now. Big data is a thing. If you aren’t leveraging your data, you’re behind. But the big challenge marketers now face is not only making sense of all of this data, but putting it to work.
Email data is stuck with the email team. In-store data is siloed within the loyalty program (if there even is one). On-site analytics aren’t easily shared with the merchandising teams. And so on.
This is where we come in. Over the past few years, we’ve built a software platform that enables marketing teams to collect, analyze, and easily leverage data across this complex marketing ecosystem. We think of Custora as the first platform built from the ground up for the future of retail marketing. Not only do we surface insights about shoppers that leverage data from across the ecosystem, but we also integrate those insights into existing marketing tools. Our goal is the action, and we want to support as many marketing actions as we can while recognizing marketers are busy. If it’s not simple to use, it won’t be used.
We’ve analyzed over 500M shoppers and $100B in revenue, and we’ve been fortunate to partner and collaborate with some of the most innovative brands in retail: Established firms such as Ann Taylor and Guess, along with new superstars such as Bonobos. But we’re just getting started. Our new round of funding will help us build more, faster. Our customers can expect more predictive insights, and more ways to apply those insights with ease into their daily marketing campaigns across a variety of channels. Teams can expect more transparent, measurable lift in their marketing campaigns. More time brainstorming new ways to connect with various customer segments, less time managing data and lists. Most importantly, marketers can expect more happy shoppers.
In the new era of marketing, I think it’s fair to update the common saying about marketing: It requires a blend of art and data science. We’re excited to collaborate with leading brands as we help define that balance in the coming decade. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Foundation Capital and Greycroft, who, in addition to providing capital, provide a wealth of experience in marketing technology and e-commerce.
If you’re passionate about data science and shaping the future of consumer marketing, let us know – we’re hiring on all fronts. We’re not a massive company (yet), which means we all get to work together (to varying degrees) and experiment with (figure out) how to do things. It’s an amazing environment to both explore your professional interests and shape your career trajectory. Like many young businesses we move quickly. You build something, and the next day it comes to life. You see and feel an immediate impact with the collective efforts of the team. If that sounds fun, let’s chat.