Mobile commerce platform provider PredictSpring Inc. said it closed on a $11.4 million round of “Series A” financing while also adding to its board of directors and setting plans to open a global office in Europe.
The Los Altos, Calif.-based company, which was founded by the innovator behind Google Shopping, said this latest round of financing was led by Felicis Ventures along with participation from existing investors Beanstalk Ventures and Novel TMT Ventures. This round also included new investors: The Benvolio Group, which is the investment arm of Lew Frankfort, chairman emeritus of Coach Inc., and his family.
The new board members include Aydin Senkut, managing director of Felicis Ventures, and Ken Seiff, managing partner of Beanstalk Ventures. Among the fashion apparel retailers and brands using the company’s platform are Calvin Klein, Cole Haan, Nine West, New York & Co., Claire’s and Vineyard Vines.
The infusion of financing comes at a time when retailers and fashion apparel brands are expanding into mobile commerce as part of an overall market trend of creating a seamless shopping experience for the consumer — allowing her to shop and buy whenever and where ever she likes. Recent surveys have shown that increasing numbers of consumers are shopping and making purchases on their mobile devices at home, work and even in physical stores.
Nitin Mangtani, founder and chief executive officer of PredictSpring, said the industry is “in the midst of a fundamental shift in consumer behavior and buying patterns. Today’s consumer expects instantaneous response times and the ability to shop anywhere, anytime with a single touch of a button.”
Mangtani described his company’s mobile commerce platform as being able to leapfrog “existing mobile app technology and for the first time provides a seamless omnichannel experience for consumers and store associates.”
The company’s mobile platform offers 35 distinct modules that include “the ability to showcase fingerprint checkout, real-time in-store inventory, clienteling, conversational commerce, M-POS, instant search, 3-D touch, bar-code scanning, geo-fenced notifications and CRM integration,” among others, the company said.
The company also noted that mobile shopping experiences take between six and eight second to load, which is “a glacial time when consumers are used to response times in hundreds of milliseconds.” PredictSpring’s platform uses a proprietary search-based architecture “and leverages the native powers of the phone to serve ‘pages’ more than 2,000 percent faster than conventional web pages.”
Mangtani told WWD that consumers don’t see “any channel as a silo — it is all the same one to them.” For example, Mangtani said it is typical that a consumer researches and shops for a product on a mobile device at home or during a break at work, and then continue shopping journey inside the store itself. There, she may decide to pick up in the store or have it shipped home. To the consumer, it is a singular experience.
Also, due to the platform modules offered to retailers, sales associates helping consumers inside the store can take advantage of real-time, in-store inventory functions and other features “where the sales associate doesn’t leave the shopper’s side, which creates a more personalized experience.”
Regarding his company’s investment, Senkut said what impressed “us most was the speed of the experience, the retail-friendly approach to implementation and the scalability of the platform. This team is building a far superior experience for consumers and store associates on mobile phones and tablets.”
Seiff said that for the first time, “most retailers now see the majority of their online traffic happening on mobile devices.”
“These visits are almost always on slow sites with cumbersome checkouts and are marked by far lower conversion rates than desktop traffic,” Seiff said adding the PredictSpring’s mobile platform “is designed to specifically close this gap and is consistently delivering 200 to 300 percent higher conversion as a result of faster, visually attractive and content rich experiences.”