Vancouver-based Elastic Path has raised a $43 million CAD Series B led by Silicon Valley-based Sageview Capital, with participation from current investors, Yaletown Partners, and BDC Venture Capital.
The company’s last reported round was $10 million in follow-on funding from Yaletown and BDC in October 2015. Elastic Path plans to use the funding to invest in its sales and marketing efforts, as well as research and development. The company is also opening an office in Toronto.
“We see ourselves as an enablement platform to future-proof companies and brands.”
– Harry Chemko, CEO of Elastic Path
Launched in 2000, Elastic Path works to “future-proof” enterprises in the ecommerce space with its API-based platform. Its flagship product, Elastic Path Commerce, integrates into the technology stack to enable companies to build retail experiences based on emerging technology. For example, one of its clients, Carnival Cruise Lines, built a wearable device that patrons can wear on cruise ships that alerts them of excursions at new destinations and order food and drinks from any location. Its other clients include T-Mobile, Intuit, and Swisscom.
“It’s really hard for ecommerce software vendors to become a credible enterprise player, and If you own the ecommerce platform at one of these big brands, you want to make sure it’s done it before, done it scale, and we have customers that transact billions of dollars a year, and it’s hard to compete and get into that market,” CEO Harry Chemko said of the company’s decision to target enterprise customers, which he credits for Elastic Path’s success. The market for template-based solutions for smaller businesses is more crowded in comparison, while enterprises don’t have access to similarly flexible solutions.
“How you want to interact with brands and technology—that will change a lot in five to 10 years.”
“We see ourselves as an enablement platform to future-proof companies and brands, so when these new consumer expectations hit, they’re ready for it. So we spend a lot of our development effort on that,” he said. “So when you look at R&D spend that we’re doing, it’s all about improving the platform and making it easier for those brands to adopt new digital touchpoints quickly and even experiment with them.”
Chemko noted that over the last several years, the brand retail experience has been more focused on building web and online stores. Now, connected devices like Alexa are growing in popularity, and a young generation of consumers from Generation Z are expecting more ways to purchase online. The funding will largely go towards research and investing on IoT experiences, as Chemko said a lot of the company’s growth has been spurred by building more IoT solutions for clients.
Elastic Path currently uses demo stores and labs to give its potential customers a sense of how its platform works in real life, and Chemko said it will continue that build that out.
“The UI that we’ll start to expect around voice, and even things in cars, and how you want to interact with brands and technology—that will change a lot in five to 10 years,” said Chemko. “We just want to be able to put a platform in place that helps those brands do that quickly, so when these things do hit, you can react to them.”