Edited, a retail tech company leveraging AI to optimize product pricing, today announced that it raised $29 million. CEO Geoff Watts said the tranche will be put toward R&D and hiring as the company expands its global presence.
Tools like Edited serve a real and present need in the over $3.53 trillion retail ecommerce market. Where price decision-making is concerned, retailers historically haven’t kept pace with the industry’s largest incumbents. According to McKinsey, Amazon, Walmart, and others often reprice top-selling items 3 or 4 times per day and up to 12 times daily. Edited tracks over 375 million products and 2.5 billion SKUs worldwide to help 50,000 retail professionals across 200 brands, including Chloé, Zara, Diesel, Chico’s, Ann Taylor, Mango, John Lewis, J.Crew, Puma, Tommy Hilfiger, and Boohoo, optimize buying and merchandising strategies.
Edited’s eight years of apparel, beauty, and homeware product data comes almost entirely from the web. The company’s AI scrapes roughly 7 million pieces of information daily from more than 90,000 retailers’ and brands’ websites, tapping computer vision and natural language processing to isolate items within images; separate items from non-essential elements, like models; and read product names, descriptions, and meta descriptions.
Each product is converted into a data point, which contains details like available colorways, regions, targeted gender, prices, and release dates. Edited’s system continually checks previously indexed products to assemble new data points for those products; if a product’s data points aren’t identical, the system records the discrepancy in a timeline. Edited’s data analytics team then employs in-house tools to augment and reconstruct the data points as pictures, charts, graphs, and other visualizations.
Using Edited’s web-based tools, customers can track and analyze products from launch onward, noting all activity until the products are discontinued. Those same customers are afforded an archive on their market’s promotion cycles, email frequencies, and more, enabling them to optimize pricing on real-time demand. A bespoke analytics dashboard helps break down competitors’ seasonal pricing strategies, supporting the evaluation and comparison of retailers’ weigh assortments. And a new dashboard highlights the retail industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, chiefly through metrics like newness, discounting, average markdown rates, and top-performing categories.
Edited competes to a degree with firms like Yieldigo, Perfect Price, and Pricefx, which similarly tap AI to optimize prices. But it demonstrated success early on with the retailers using its platform (which is now available in 30 countries), who have seen revenue growth of around 15% year-over-year on average. Boohoo notched a 40% increase in revenue after adopting Edited, while Otto Group, a mail-order company based in Hamburg, Germany, recorded a €1.8 billion (~$1.95 billion) overall sales uptick.
This latest fundraising round in Edited was led by Boston-based Wavecrest Growth Partners and Beringea UK, with participation from Hermes. It brings the company’s total raised to $34 million, following two years in which revenue doubled.
“The retail climate is vastly changing each week in unprecedented ways. There is no retail calendar to follow now; no back to school, no festival season, no sports. So retailers need to change habits and fast. Data is the only thing retailers can count on now,” Watts told VentureBeat via email. “With Edited, retailers can take advantage of the opportunities that do exist, survive in today’s market and thrive in tomorrow’s.”
Edited was cofounded by Watts and Julia Fowler in 2009, and it’s based in London. It aims to increase its current headcount by 25% by 2021.