$100M in New Funding Drives Growth for Swiftly, Helping Retail Partners Compete
This month, Swiftly Systems, Inc., announces an impressive Series B funding round of $100M led by Wormhole Capital. The latest round of funding brings the company’s total investment to $120 million.
On a Mission
This fundraising round reflects the strength of Swiftly’s mission and the incredible opportunity ahead to provide technology that democratizes the technology lead enjoyed by retail giants to the rest of the industry. Swiftly started by providing brick-and-mortar retailers the same mobile technology capabilities of an Amazon or a Walmart so that they can compete against these ecommerce retailers based on the strength of their operational prowess without being disadvantaged by an aging or non-existing technology platform.
Job number one was to give retail store operators the technology to engage their shoppers digitally and supply the technology to make shopping from in-person shopping as easy as shopping online. Then, Swiftly added an analytics and advertising platform on top. This full-stack offering enabled brick-and-mortar chains to compete with Amazon and generate significant margin-rich, asset-light digital advertising revenues for retailers.
The Swiftly Solution
Before Swiftly began, it built the leading ecommerce platform for consumer-packaged goods brands, enabling companies like Pepsi, Fiji Water, Kraft, and General Mills to sell directly to the consumer. This experience provided insights on Amazon’s process to build an advertising business that could leverage the fact that they owned the digital customer relationship to challenge Google and Facebook’s advertising businesses. Swiftly instantly recognized that the margin-rich revenues from this advertising business could represent an existential threat to brick-and-mortar retailers, and they would need an answer.
To remain relevant, retailers need to natively boost their digital presence while leveraging the one thing ecommerce players don’t have, the physical store space where more than 90% of purchases still occur. So, in 2018, Swiftly raised a seed round to build retail media solutions for brick-and-mortar retailers. Over the past five years, Swiftly has been building a retail media platform that deployed across “lab stores” in California, Texas, and Georgia where the technology was extensively tested before it was brought to market. This early investment gave Swiftly Systems a significant head start in the retail media space.
“Swiftly is an exciting technology partner bringing innovation to brick-and-mortar retail that has historically relied on business models that ignore the changing behaviors of shoppers and trailing behind ecommerce giants and third-party delivery services. The Swiftly technology platform can be deployed quickly, at no cost to the retailer and offers connected digital offerings — allowing brick and mortar retailers to lean into their competitive advantage, the physical store,” said Andrew Boyd of Bramalea Partners. “We invested in the Swiftly integrated platform because we believe it drives digital innovation for retailers, providing customers with connected digital experiences while increasing revenue for retailers. Throughout our extensive diligence process, it became clear the Swiftly platform is the retailers’ answer for margin-rich revenue to compete against the likes of Amazon and Walmart. Swiftly arms retailers with a digitally connected retail storefront and taps into the $100B retail media revenue market all through a transparent analytics platform that provides retailers the visibility they need to understand sales data and personalize buyer journeys. Swiftly is the partner that puts retailers back in the driver’s seat to win long-term.”
Today, Swiftly’s platform powers almost 10,000 store locations nationwide. With this new round of funding Swiftly will continue its rapid growth organizationally and continue to grow its product offering to serve more retailers, brands and their customers.
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By Henry Kim, CEO at Swiftly