Bold Commerce, a software development company that builds tools, integrations, and enhanced functionality for ecommerce stores, has raised CDN$22 million ($16.5 million) in a series A round of funding from Whitecap Venture Partners and Round13 Capital.

Founded out of Winnipeg, Canada in 2013, Bold Commerce currently develops 20 apps that can be integrated with a number of major ecommerce platforms, including Shopify and Big Commerce. These apps enable features such as subscriptions, bundles, upselling, multi-currency checkouts, Quickbooks and Xero integrations, loyalty schemes, and more.

The majority of the apps, such as Subscriptions, only work “out of the box” with Shopify, but some — like Cashier — work with both Shopify and Big Commerce without any kind of special configuration.

However, Bold Commerce can work directly with merchants to integrate its apps into any platform — including Magento, Demandware, and Woo Commerce — through an API. Sellers have to contact Bold Commerce to request access.

This series A financing is the company’s first outside funding, and Bold Commerce said it plans to use the cash injection to expedite its platform’s adoption globally, as well as nearly doubling its workforce by hiring more than 200 developers, designers, data scientists, analysts, and sales staff over the next couple of years.

Crucially though, the funding will be used to double down on its artificial intelligence (AI) efforts.

AI in ecommerce

As is the case in pretty much every other industry, AI is increasingly infiltrating the ecommerce realm — and automation is also emerging as one of the major products in Bold Commerce’s arsenal of tools.

The Bold Brain app is designed to help merchants automatically display personalized product recommendations to each of their customers, based on prior shopping activities, browsing and search history, previous purchases, and more. It’s similar to the way Amazon’s recommendation engine works.

The Bold Brain also works in tandem with some of Bold Commerce’s other apps — for example, a merchant that uses Bold Commerce’s Upsell app can also leverage automatic recommendations so that each customer will see different products based on their historical footprint. This saves sellers having to manually decide which products to offer as an upsell.

AI will prove pivotal to the company’s future developments, too, as it works to increase integrations between the Bold Brain and its other tools.

“We are actively working on becoming an AI-first commerce-driven company by enhancing the Brain to offer fully integrated AI capabilities within all of our other 20 ecommerce apps to make them smarter, enabling them to manage merchants’ stores automatically,” a spokesperson told VentureBeat. “This investment will allow Bold to build a world-class AI team to continue to develop its functionality.”

Bold Commerce claims 86,000 customers globally, including the Obama Foundation, Zippo, NPR, the Bon Jovi Official Store, and DJ Khaled’s Goldition.

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