Zenlytic, a commerce business intelligence tool, secured $5.4 million in seed funding to further develop its natural language interface for non-technical users who use their customer acquisition, conversion, and retention software in want to summarize in one tool without needing a data team.
Bain Capital Ventures led the round and was supported by other investors including Primary Venture Partners, Correlation Ventures, Company Ventures, Habitat Partners (Red Antler) and the Sequoia Scout Fund.
As my colleague Kyle Wiggers wrote earlier this year, business intelligence is being loved by venture capital firms as the category offers more solutions for managing and analyzing big data so clients can identify new revenue opportunities.
However, Zenlytic co-founder and CEO Ryan Janssen is bent on turning business intelligence on its head by doing something he thinks the industry is doing but has never really delivered — true self-service capabilities .
Before founding the company, Janssen and co-founder Paul Blankley were data scientists advising retail brands on how to use data and found that they faced similar issues regardless of size.
“One of the biggest ironies is that they have a wealth of data to make decisions with, but because their core product isn’t technology, they generally have smaller tech teams and develop tech teams late,” Janssen told TechCrunch.
So they set out to build their own take on business intelligence with Zenlytic, a true self-service tool built specifically for retailers. Users can consolidate all of their SaaS customer acquisition, conversion and retention tools into one cloud data warehouse and access customizable analytics.
“Unreliable data is worse than no data at all,” added Janssen. “Brands need customer logic, but today’s tools tend to be one-size-fits-all. Our technology enables better self-service by rolling up natural language capabilities powered by GPT-3 and OpenAI to make it feel like you’re having a conversation with an internal data person.”
The new $5.4 million funding is split into two rounds, including one about two years ago and the other being led this year by Scott Friend, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures.
Friend told TechCrunch that trading is one of the company’s core areas of focus and he has spent most of his career in trading analysis. Looking for new software companies to help brands do things they couldn’t do before, he found Zenlytic and saw that it was doing something he saw a need for but couldn’t find.
“We didn’t have anywhere near the brilliance of Ryan and Paul, but we felt there needed to be a self-service way for people to ask questions about their business data without having to hire an analytics team,” Friend said. “We came across Zenlytic and when we saw versions of the product we were blown away by their idea of being able to ask a question and let the machine do all the analysis. This is a dream for people who run brands.”
Meanwhile, Zenlytic is still in its early days, so there hasn’t been much to report on Traction, according to Janssen, and much of the funding will go toward expanding the company’s team as it evolves into a product-centric company.
He expects the company to triple its four-person team over the next year as it adds more product and analytics staff to develop additional skills.