The CEO Take - Perch Raises $1.7m to Reinvent In-Store Retail Marketing

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Looks like we made a big splash last week as our $1.7m fundraise was covered in Retail Dive, Retail Touchpoints, Retail Innovation Hub, Alley Watch and many other publications.  Our fundraise is a validation of all the hard work of the Perch team.  I have the pleasure, honor and responsibility of working with a talented and driven team of engineers, designers, project managers, sales and support teams.   Our team is diverse, creative, analytical and a lot of fun to work with.  They are constantly innovating (and putting up with me).  And of course the fundraise is the validation of the vision of our founder and CTO Jared Schiffman.  We joke that Jared started the business 2 years two early for the market, but we made it past being “too early” and we are now seeing a digital and interactive frenzy of activity.   Being the leaders in Digital+Physical before it was even a term was a tremendous advantage.  Our institutional knowledge

There are so many people who are wrongfully dismissive of the potential of brick-and-mortar retail.   The myriad "Retail Apocalypse" stories were not so much stories predicting demise, but those that indicated a need and incentive for rebirth in an industry that hasn't changed meaningfully in many decades.  If you look around, there is tremendous innovation all around in a $4,000,000,000,000 market.  That's a lot of zeros in the US alone.   

Our mission at Perch is to usher in the sea change from static, physical stores to dynamic, media-rich interactive ones.  That's a stark revolution and one that's being embraced faster in certain segments than others and for good reason. 

The underlying technology shift and orientation is simply massive for many incumbants.   Data needs to be refactored and moved out of legacy systems into more open an flexible ones that can be integrated across stores and online and offline channels in near real-time.   Digital and creative assets need to be consolidated and brands need to collaborate with retailers in new ways and with new models. New analytics and insights will have to find their place in more tried and true KPIs and data stores.  And the relentless focus on engagement will have to give rise to massive shifts in budgets.    

And of course there is the organization itself.   Sephora made news when it tore down the silos between online and in-store so they can better share attribution data, enhance creative collaboration and drive omnichannel excellence.  That’s no small feat for large organizations in retail.   Increasingly, these walls are being tore down and most new ventures start with an omnichannel optimization mindset from the get go.   And the results are differentiated.

Our fundraise is recognition of the tremendous success we have seen over the last year, with new clients like Johnson&Johnson, Sephora, Coty, AMD, Smile Lab, Steiner Transocean and expansions with long time customers like Jo Malone (now in over 10 countries!), Kate Spade New York, Red Bull.  And there are a host of new customers I can’t even announce yet.  These are the visionaries that see a future of retail that is dynamic, interactive, educational and entertaining.  The holy grail in in-store retail is “engagement” and these companies get it.   We would not be here if not for these innovative teams.  Our fundraise is recognition of the proof in their initiatives and the rapid expansion of Perch once we measure 30-80% sales lift and 300-2200% ROIs.  

For Perch, this fundraise is an opportunity to take our team and technology to the next level.   We have already increased the team 50%, tripled our engineering organization and hired industry veteran and leader Scott Carter as our new VP of Sales.  Through software and industrial engineering and supply chain optimization we have reduced the costs of Perch by ~50%, making Perch more affordable than ever. We will continue to push for enterprise value at scale.  Now we are investing in even better management tools, richer analytics that give brands newfound and real time insight into retail behavior, enhanced sensing capabilities and opening up new markets with partner integration.  Much more news to come!

So thank you everyone who has been a part of our journey. Investors and advisors, partners and customers.  And most of all thank you to the Perch team. We have a big vision for the future of retail and we couldn’t be more excited to see it all coming together.