As more consumers find ease buying online and using digital channels to find what they need and discover new products, Bloomreach is helping online retailers provide that commerce experience.
In 2019, worldwide e-commerce sales were $3.3 trillion; two years later, sales were $4.9 trillion and are now expected to reach $7.4 trillion by 2025. Advertisements hit us all over the place, from our social media feeds to our custom emails that hit our inbox seconds after looking around on a website.
Bloomreach powers hundreds of billions of dollars in gross merchandise value by giving businesses those kinds of tools to personalize customer journeys. When we search for something to buy, that is powered by customer and product data in such a way that we land on unique digital experiences.
“Personalization is a 20-year-old technology, but so much on the web is still generic — that has to change,” co-founder and CEO Raj De Datta told TechCrunch. “We are cool when Spotify recommends a song based on what we are listening to, and we enable retailers to know what brands you prefer and every aspect of the interaction.”
It’s been a few years since we last checked in on Bloomreach, but the company has been busy since. Its headcount is nearing 800, and it is adding about 150 people per quarter and plans to continue that substantial growth this year in Europe, India and the United States.
From an annual recurring revenue standpoint, Bloomreach grew 63% year over year and ended 2021 with $117 million in ARR. De Datta also revealed that the growth was done in a capital-efficient way, burning less than $5 million in cash last year. Meanwhile, its customer base grew to 1,100 brands after adding more than 100 in 2021.
In the past year, its commerce experience cloud also grew with the launch of its Bloomreach Content headless content tool, the release of new features within its “Discovery” pillar and the unveiling of its “Engagement” pillar following the acquisition of Exponea, a customer data and experience platform, in early 2021.
Today it announced $175 million in an investment, led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, with participation from existing Bloomreach investors Bain Capital Ventures and Sixth Street Partners.
This latest funding more than doubled its valuation in one year, to $2.2 billion, and follows a $150 million investment made in January 2021 to give it $420 million in total funding to date, De Datta said.
“We have seen, with the pandemic, a reinvention of e-commerce, and it is a $5 trillion market and we saw it grow 80% to 100% overnight,” De Datta added. “We saw opportunity as structural shifts happened, and now people are used to it and will stick with it. Now is an incredible moment to capitalize on that performance. Go big and go transform commerce.”
The new capital will be invested in R&D to bring more personalization to life and make it easier to connect via APIs. Bloomreach is also going to expand its go-to-market teams and its geographic footprint in the U.S. and Europe.
All of this will be to help customers make sense of the volatility experienced in e-commerce over the past two years, De Datta said. The company has some of the largest data sets to understand consumer behavior, and while at the beginning of the pandemic people were freaking out and stocking up on milk and toilet paper, many got used to purchasing items like groceries and apparel online.
One of the questions he is looking at, especially as people return to shopping in person, is if the trend of e-commerce will continue now that people are used to buying online. It’s not that people don’t like shopping in stores anymore, but the bar was raised for experiences. He expects people to go less frequently, but will make it a more enjoyable experience, saving those “everyday purchases” for online.
“The battle in commerce is shifting to winning experience in e-commerce,” De Datta added. “The first 20 years made it possible to buy on the web, and now in the next 20 years, it will be about moving a store to stand out in the crowd. There is so much competition and just 18% penetration of e-commerce so far. The transforming experience is all ahead of us.”