BOSTON–Celect, founded by two MIT professors Vivek Farias and Devavrat Shah in 2013, has raised 10 million in Series B funding. Celect is a cloud-based, predictive analytics SaaS platform that helps retailers optimize their overall inventory portfolios in stores and across the supply chain.

Vivek Farias

Farias is an Associate Professor and the Robert N. Noyce Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School, affiliated with the Operations Management group and the ORC.  Shah is Jamieson Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.

Led by Activant Capital with participation from Fung Capital and August Capital, the funding will be used to extend momentum built in 2016 after closing the year with 2.5x revenue growth, Celect said in a statement.

“For nearly twenty years our industry has been paying lip service to the notion of injecting the ‘art’ of merchandising with more science,” said Bryan Eshelman, COO of Aldo Group. “We have now reached a tipping point with consumers expecting everything available everywhere all the time. Lip service is no longer an option – meeting this expectation while simultaneously reducing inventory is simply impossible without advanced analytics.”

Devavrat Shah

Historically, most merchandising decisions are made using simple spreadsheets and gut instinct, which leaves little room for optimization and in turn limits growth opportunities. With Celect, retailers now have a more precise and granular way to understand how customers choose between products, and how products interact with each other. This unprecedented insight is surfacing significant opportunities for optimization that would otherwise have gone undiscovered.

“Celect’s growth confirms that omnichannel retailers are ready to embrace data-driven decision support solutions,” said Steve Sarracino, Founder and Partner at Activant Capital. “Inventory optimization across the supply chain is on the top of every retail executive’s list of priorities. We are excited to further our relationship with the Celect team as they help retailers solve this critical challenge.”

John Andrews, CEO at Celect, added: “Every retailer we work with is making it a top priority to bring data and analytics into their merchandising, planning and allocation decision making. With this funding, we will be able to support our growing list of customers and expand the scope of product offerings moving through 2017.”

IndUS Business Journal

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