Blog: Retail Automation Platform Provider Vue.ai Raises $17 Million in Latest Round – WWD
Vue.ai, which describes itself as a “platform for intelligent retail automation,” said it raised $17 million in a Series B funding round led by Falcon Edge Capital along with Sequoia Capital India and Global Brain, which is a GP of KDDI Innovation Fund.
The latest round of funding brings Vue.ai’s total of capital raised to $27.5 million.
Vue.ai was founded three years ago by Ashwini Asokan and Anand Chandrasekaran as the first artificial intelligence brand from parent company Mad Street Den. The founders said they’ve built a team at Vue.ai that is “comprised of neuroscientists and AI experts from IBM, Intel and DARPA,” and serves retailers in the U.S. and the U.K. as well as in India, the Middle East and Latin America.
With this round of funding, the company has set its sights of further build its team and expand its business. “After experiencing a 200 percent annual revenue increase, the funds will be used to grow the team, deliver on the product roadmap and scale the company’s existing customer base that already includes leading retailers from across the globe like Macy’s, Mercado Libre and Tata,” the company said in a statement.
Vue.ai’s growth trajectory aligns with massive investments in AI being made by retailers and brands. Juniper Research expects global retailers and brands to dole out more than $7 billion in AI technologies over the next few years. “Retailers have entered an era where consumers expect a seamless brand experience thanks to behemoths like Amazon and Alibaba who are using AI to personalize products and services for shoppers,” Vue.ai said.
Meanwhile, consumers also continue to crave experiences. “The future of retail is entertainment,” said Asokan, founder and chief executive officer of Vue.ai. “The experience economy we see today is the start of that era. Brands are shifting to designing worlds that consumers want to be a part of and that has to integrate with the new ways people shop. Vue is the electricity that powers all these complicated and important retail functions so retailers can focus on the business of entertaining you.”
For its part, Vue.ai positions itself as a “one-stop shop across the value chain” while automating “critical functions across departments heavily dependent on human intuition, unifying data about products, people and processes,” the company said adding that its suite of products is designed to offer retailers and brands a “unified system” that acts as a “neural network” for decision-making.
Essentially, the platform can automate e-mail marketing and personalization processes — whether on a web site or in-app — as well as product tagging functions and inventory management. This platform also includes visual search and product discovery as well as “styling and outfitting” prompts and model generation, which serve as a personalized stylist for consumers. The aim is to make the shopping experience easier and more engaging.
Chris Homer, cofounder and chief technology officer of ThredUp, said “creating personalized shopping experiences for our customers is a top priority. With over 2 million unique items in inventory at any given moment, we are constantly innovating on ways to help each customer locate the perfect needle-in-a-haystack item.”
With Vue.ai, Homer said the platform’s AI stylist “allows us to personalize the end-to-end customer experience. AI algorithms take into account each individual’s visual style preferences, brand affinities, price sensitivity and more, creating a significant impact on multiple touchpoints in the ThredUp customer’s journey — whether you’re browsing ThredUp, reading an e-mail or opening your custom-curated Goodybox. ThredUp is revolutionizing resale by making it just as easy to shop used as it is to shop new, offering a tailored experience powered by technology.”
Anandamoy Roychowdhary, director of technology at Sequoia Capital India, said Vue.ai is on “a mission to put AI and intelligent automation in the hands of teams across the globe in ways that improve productivity and growth multifold.”