Sunday 21 January 2018

Dublin-based tech firm raises $20m in funding

Garry Moroney, chief executive officer of Clavis Insight, is thinking big and on a global scale.
Garry Moroney, chief executive officer of Clavis Insight, is thinking big and on a global scale.
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Dublin-based e-commerce company Clavis Insight has closed a $20m (€17.6m) funding round led by Silicon Valley investment firm Accel-KKR.

The cash, which brings the company’s funding to €22m in eight years, will be used to grow the company’s consumer ecommerce analytics business and to hire an additional 150 people over the next 12 months, bringing Clavis’s overall headcount to 300 people.

“We’ll have 150 people by year end and over the next year or so we’re scaling up to around 300,” said Garry Moroney, chief executive and co-founder of the company.

“We have massive growth plans and the timing right now is perfect. It’s KKR’s first investment in Ireland and it has happened because of Clavis's proposition being a global one.”

Existing investors in the company include Dublin-based financiers Brian Caulfield, Jim Mountjoy and venture capital firm Delta Partners.

Clavis has built a strong business in online store analytics across multiple retail sectors. Its software lets consumer goods companies analyse much of what consumers see in online retailer stores. According to a 2015 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report quoted by the company, approximately 1.7bn consumers will shop online by 2018, representing close to 20pc of the world’s population.

Mr Moroney declined to disclose the company’s post-round valuation, but said that it was working toward a billion-dollar outcome.

“We have massive growth plans and a market plan that we believe can get us to that point,” he said. “For a big investor like KKR to invest in us, they have to believe that we can get to that level too. I believe that our growth plans will take us close to that level.”

“Right now we’re the leader in providing analytics on consumer package goods, personal care products and consumable. We have all the big companies in this space, including companies like Unilever and Proctor and Gamble. But we see the opportunity to move into adjacent verticals as well such as the broader electronics space, toys, sports equipment and DIY. And we’ve started to do that.”

Mr Moroney said that the company’s main focus remains the US, but it was now targeting China through an office opened there.

“China is an important part of our growth strategy. There is a huge middle class there with strong ecommerce activity.”

He said that the 70pc of the company’s employment and development would remain in Dublin.

“Clavis has created a leadership position in the market by uniquely tackling the most complex challenges that global consumer packaged goods brands face in measuring, monitoring and optimising brand performance in the ecommerce channel,” said Greg Williams, managing director of Accel-KKR.

Accel-KKR currently has €4bn under management in technology-focused companies.

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