Consumer Data Company Retina Scores $2.5 million

Consumer Data Company Retina Scores $2.5 million

Retina, a Santa Monica startup that provides e-commerce companies like Dollar Shave Club and Madison Reed predictions of consumer behavior based on algorithms, announced on Wednesday that it has raised $2.5 million in funding led by Crosscut Ventures.


The backend platform helps business predict shopping habits by using what it says is "next-gen algorithms" and will use the funds to grow its reach and expand products. Since its inception, the company has pulled in $5 million in venture capital.

Data on shoppers and their long-term buying habits are especially vaunted in the e-commerce world where there's an intense fight for repeat customers as the retail industry sees radical change. Brick-and-mortar stores like Macy's, which announced on Tuesday it would close 125 stores in low-tier malls, are struggling to compete as shoppers migrate online.

Retina's founder Michael Greenberg also created fundraising tool ScaleFunder.

Courtesy Retina

The changes in the retail industry nearly toppled Forever 21. The company, known for fast fashion, was pummeled by online rivals like Revolve and others. After filing for bankruptcy, the company this week entered a tentative $81 million deal to sell its assets to a consortium including mall owners.

But even as malls, the traditional hub for commerce, have emptied out, the high-price of acquiring and keeping customers online has been a challenge for retailers. Smaller companies that aren't as well funded are at a disadvantage when competing with giants like Amazon.

Retina hopes to fill in those gaps. It recently launched an app on Shopify, the e-commerce platform used by many online sellers. The three-year old company was founded by Michael Greenberg, who also created fundraising tool ScaleFunder.

"There's a cataclysm happening at the intersection of e-commerce and retail," Greenberg said. "Companies like mine are trying to help other businesses trying to compete with the sort of data science and technical prowess of Amazon."

Greenberg said customers are willing to provide companies data "if they get more personalized experience with less friction" in the transaction.

"Not all customers are created equal and, in fact, a majority of them are poison for the business," Greenberg said in an announcement. "Retina determines which customers will spend more as soon as they make their first purchase, not six months from now."

Crosscut Ventures managing partner Rick Smith said in a statement that technology's return on investment was "unmatched in the industry."

https://twitter.com/racheluranga
rachel@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Though Silicon Valley is still very much the capital of venture capital, Los Angeles is home to plenty of VCs who have made their mark – investing in successful startups early and reaping colossal returns for their limited partners.

Who stands out? We thought there may be no better judge than their peers, so we asked 28 of L.A.'s top VCs who impresses them the most.

Read more Show less
Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

https://twitter.com/thebenbergman
ben@dot.la

On this week's episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, hear from Chang Xu, partner at Basis Set Ventures, a $140 million fund focused on AI and automation - technology that transforms the way people work.

Read more Show less
Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
RELATEDTRENDING