E-retail vendor SmarterHQ, which takes in-store and e-commerce shopper data and uses it to create customized automated marketing campaigns, has raised $13 million. Spring Lake Equity led the financing round with participation from previous investors Simon Venture Group, the investment arm of Simon Property Group, and Battery Ventures.
The new funds bring the amount raised by SmarterHQ to $33.6 million, the vendor says. The company works with retailers including Bloomingdale’s, which is owned by Macy’s Inc., No. 6 in the 2016 Internet Retailer Top 500; Eddie Bauer LLC (No. 93) and Kate Spade (No. 40).
SmarterHQ will use the money to expand sales and marketing efforts and move into new markets, including financial services and travel and hospitality. The company says it has begun working with financial services company Santander Bank N.A. and auto company CarRentals.com for automated personalized campaigns.
A campaign from SmarterHQ could include reengaging a shopper with a personalized email discount for a pair of boots she viewed, or sending an email reminder to a consumer about headphones she left in her cart. SmarterHQ campaigns are created automatically and use machine learning to improve and grow more sophisticated over time based on the outcomes. Machine learning is a technology that develops computer programs to teach themselves to grow and change when exposed to new data instead of being explicitly programmed by an individual.
“Our continued support of SmarterHQ stems from testimonials we receive from the retail brands we work with looking to create a robust marketing strategy and a 360-degree view of their customer,” says J. Skyler Fernandes, founder and managing director of Simon Venture Group. “With SmarterHQ, retailers are driving more revenue in one day than they could with a full month’s worth of non-personalized messages. The ROI is quite impressive and is the result of their advanced machine learning capabilities.”
Fernandes highlighted SmarterHQ in October during a presentation at the OnRamp Retail Conference in Chicago. “I talk to retailers on a weekly basis and I always ask, ‘What is one retail technology where you are getting really great ROI?’” Fernandes said. “I usually get a lot of silence and not great answers.” But Fernandes said Bloomingdale’s told him it has earned its investment in SmarterHQ back 10 times.