Akeneo, a provider of product information management software and related technology, has been building out its technology and operations in the past year to meet increasing demand from business-to-business and retail online merchants.
Now, it plans to give that development a major boost with $46 million in venture capital it announced this week, bringing its total funding to date to $61 million.
“Today’s consumers average more than five touchpoints before they make a purchasing decision, so it is increasingly important for brands to use a platform that delivers an integrated and consistent product experience,” says Fred de Gombert, CEO and co-founder.
Akeneo, which is based in Boston and has offices across Europe and Israel, says it will use its funding to “further invest in sales and marketing efforts in the United States, while doubling down on research and development, including product data intelligence to boost product information automation.”
To support that growth, Akeneo also says it will grow its number of employees within the next year to close to 300 from more than 180 today. Its $46 million funding round was led by investment firm Summit Partners, which was joined by prior investors Alven, Partech Partners and Salesforce Ventures.
Putting AI into product data
The new funding follows several other moves Akeneo has made recently to build out its technology and market reach. Last year it acquired Sigmento, an Israel-based startup focused on artificial intelligence technology used in product data. It also has begun integrating its technology with the Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Magento ecommerce platforms.
Earlier this year, Akeneo introduced Akeneo PIM 3.0, which integrates with its AI-backed Franklin online library of 50 million products. The Franklin library continuously updates its listings and descriptions of products by crawling public websites and using AI and machine-learning technology to recognize and match product information into categories, de Gombert says.
“When we say 50 million products, we mean we found them after checking at least five sources to make sure the data is accurate and up to date,” he says.
Akeneo refers to its overall technology offerings as product experience management, or PXM. “We believe Akeneo’s highly focused product approach, as well as its hyper-connectivity with the broader commerce stack, makes it uniquely capable of addressing complex and specific customer product information needs,” says Stephen Peyer, a principal at Summit Partners who will join Akeneo’s board.
Akeneo’s client base includes electronics distributor Petra Industries, office supplies merchant Staples Canada and such international brands as Sephora and Fossil.
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