Impact Analytics Inc. said it was infused with a $11 million funding round led by Argentum Capital Partners IV L.P. to help the AI-driven SaaS provider continue to grow as retailers and brands turn to planning and merchandising technologies to improve efficiencies and increase their sustainability measures.
The Baltimore-based company said in a statement that as part of the funding round, Walter H. Barandiarán, managing partner at Argentum, will join its board of directors. Companies that use Impact Analytics’ solutions for assortment planning, markdown and allocation optimization and forecasting include merchants, footwear and apparel brands such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Puma, JoAnn and Belk, among others.
“As the industry currently relies on spreadsheets and legacy manual systems for these key decisions, retailers have an opportunity to increase sales and margins by utilizing Impact’s solutions,” the company said, adding that its AI-powered “decisioning systems” also enhance retailers and brands’ “sustainability efforts by helping them make more precise merchandising and allocation decisions, reducing waste and their carbon footprint.”
Prashant Agrawal, chief executive officer of Impact Analytics, said the company believes that “smart decisions are made when humans and machines work together. We have built best-in-class decisioning systems that unlock the power of artificial intelligence for our customers, in easy-to-use workflows.”
Barandiarán noted that a recent Gartner report “concluded that retailers need to adopt AI in order to improve and enhance assortment and pricing optimization. As investors with extensive experience in retail tech, Argentum has seen the COVID-19 pandemic accelerate the need for artificial intelligence and data-based decisioning in the retail industry.”
Barandiarán said merchants and brands have also been forced to “re-think overnight their approach to planning and merchandising, as substantial sales volume moved swiftly from brick-and-mortar to online commerce. Brands and retailers must now and in the future make smart, data-based decisions in real-time about inventory, pricing and promotion. Impact is well-positioned to fulfill this market need.”
Agrawal said he is looking forward to working with Barandiarán and Argentum and “leveraging their domain knowledge and experience investing in retail tech. Argentum is known for their expertise in partnering with bootstrapped companies to accelerate growth, and with their investment, we will build our sales team, expand our product development team and increase the market reach of our products.”
Impact Analytics’ solutions are designed for use in the retail, fashion apparel, home goods, food retailing, CPG, grocery and hospitality sectors.