While grocery retail tech startup Swiftly makes $ 100 million, Seattle earns another unicorn

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Apps help consumers find what they’re looking for in the aisle, remember previous purchases, and skip lines by scanning products and paying with their mobile phones. Founded in 2018, Swiftly now accounts for about 10% of the country’s grocery market, said Sean Turner, the CTO of the company. The 150-employee startup serves 22,500 stores, each run by companies with over $1 billion in annual sales. Symphony Commerce veteran Turner, who co-founded Swiftly in 2017 with Henry Kim (his CEO of Swiftly), Karen Ho, and Daniel Kim, said:

Retail software provider Swiftly has raised $100 million in a Series C funding round that helped it become the latest Seattle-area startup to reach a $1 billion valuation. The round, led by Hong Kong-based BRV Capital Management, is Swiftly the second round of raising $100 million in less than six months. Swiftly provides brick-and-mortar grocers with a branded phone app designed to help retailers collect invaluable customer data and enhance the in-store shopping experience while earning advertising dollars. increase.

Data collected by the Swiftly-powered app is used to sell highly tailored ads to food brands looking to grab shoppers’ attention. Turner said this will also help brick-and-mortar grocers compete with his e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart, which have invested heavily in their own groceries and services. Other startups, such as his Seattle-based Veeve, are also developing tech for traditional grocery stores. Veeve announced an update to his shopping smart cart technology on Monday. Swiftly will use some of the new funding to expand into non-grocery markets.

The company focuses on brick-and-mortar stores selling home goods, hardware stores, electronics, fashion, and sporting goods. For now, the company continues to operate primarily in the grocery sector, powering consumer phone apps as well as launching a range of products that use AI to monitor inventory and track consumer trends. We provide software. That business alone is booming, Turner said. Growth is partially driven by a series of social and macroeconomic changes. Turner said millennials have started preparing home-cooked meals en masse for the first time during the pandemic.

“Grocery stores are posting record sales,” Turner said, but sales are down as well, as inflation has pushed up prices for nearly everything in the store.

In the past, these young professionals ate out much more often. “An entire generation has learned how to cook during the pandemic,” Turner said, adding that these young shoppers will head to more grocery stores. Additionally, rising inflation has caused consumers of all ages to reconsider dining out and grocery shopping. According to Turner, they create a disciplined shopping list and even consider the extremely high cost of gas for shopping. These shoppers are saving money differently than they did last year when they arrive at the store.

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