User Replay, A ‘Black-Box Recorder’ For E-Commerce Sites, Scores $3.2M For U.S. Expansion

User Replay, the ‘Customer Experience Management’ startup that offers software akin to a ‘black-box recorder’ to help e-commerce sites track user journeys and ultimately improve the bottom line, has beefed up its own balance sheet with a new round of funding. It’s closed a $3.2 million Series A led by Episode 1, with participation from existing investors EC1 Capital, and FSE Group, along with previous angel investors.

This brings the total raised by the Reading, UK-based company to $5.9 million, in addition to a $400,000 grant from the UK taxpayer-funded Technology Strategy Board.

Like a lot of e-commerce-focused startups coming out of and being funded in the UK — e-commerce intelligence startup Ometria springs to mind as one recent example — User Replay aims to help e-commerce sites increase conversion rates.

It offers what it calls Customer Experience Management (CEM) software that let sites record and replay user sessions to help them spot technical, usability and navigation problems.

In addition to helping to shift more product, the startup says the ability to track individual customer journeys can also be used to resolve customer disputes, re-market to abandoned baskets and prevent fraud.

Aimed at larger e-commerce sites, the UserReplay product was originally offered as an on-premise solution only but has recently added a cloud-based offering, removing a significant barrier for adoption of this type of CEM. This also gives the company a competitive advantage over IBM’s Tealeaf, which User Replay cites as its most direct competitor.

“They can compete on price and on capability as well as offering a SaaS version of the software, something IBM cannot do right now,” EC1 Capital’s Julian Carter tells me when I asked him more about the decision to invest in User Replay. He also says that the UK startup has already picked up a number of former Tealeaf customers.

Zooming out further, Carter notes that the large e-commerce players are processing ever more yearly transactions and this requires “industrial scale and robust solutions that can record terrabytes of daily user activity to help with support and diagnose problems in the conversion funnel which can cost millions in lost revenue should they not be spotted early enough.”

Fraud is also an increasing problem in e-commerce, which he says a solution like User Replay can help mitigate, along with supporting the crucial role good customer service can play.

Meanwhile, User Replay says it plans to use the new capital to further develop its product, and for European and U.S. expansion, including opening an office across the pond.