Announcing Our Investment In Centricity
Last week, our newest portfolio company Centricity went on to Bloomberg to talk about the current retail and grocery environments and what has been going on behind the scenes as software penetrates this industry. You can listen in here. We are happy to announce today that Bowery Capital led a Seed round of funding in the business late last year. Below lays out some more information and specifics on the round and our investment rationale.
Michael Brackett, founder and CEO of Centricity, created the company over a 20-year exposure to the supermarket industry. He had a colorful career that spanned stocking shelves up to the executive level. At Hannaford, Michael was a category manager who led a team of analysts to understand how consumer demand evolved over time. He was the youngest category manager at Ahold Delhaize, where he managed a $650M portfolio. Subsequently, he founded and bootstrapped BasketIQ, a CPG focused ad network that interjected partner brands at critical customer decision points. We first met Michael through another Bowery Capital founder, Ryan Denehy the Founder & CEO of Electric AI. Michael was exiting his prior company BasketIQ following an earn out and thinking hard about the evolution of the grocery and retail industries from a data and analytics standpoint. We valued his insights and expertise in the industry and stayed in touch. When he called us to talk about his new startup, it was a no brainer for us. We can’t predict the future here, but his insights and expertise really showcased to us the opportunity and created the “a-ha” moment. Mike was quickly joined by Jason Nichols, who is heading up engineering. Jason is the former Director of Artificial Intelligence for Walmart and spent many years thinking hard and building technology powering the grocery and retail industries. They were a natural fit.
Centricity is a platform servicing the data needs of retailers and CPGs. While at the formation stage, the company intends to understand consumer buying preferences and anticipate potential consumer needs to optimize retail marketing operations. The product ingests almost a billion points of intent data and internet traffic daily, such as social media from platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, as well as search data & e-commerce activity to preemptively predict trends in consumer consumption. As the product is further developed, Centricity will be able to incorporate front-end transactional data in real time. We think a lot at Bowery Capital about the legacy replacement cycle upon us in b2b. Competitive products such as Nielsen and IRi exist, but lag Centricity significantly in speed of delivering actionable insights while also only showing old purchase data. Most of the category managers we have spent time with in the past couple years have said as much. Cumbersome products will be replaced as the digital native takes ownership.
The thought wave of optimizing retail operations through data analytics has been around for some time now, but the implementation of solutions still lack nuance. We have tried to find Nielsen and iRI killers for a long time. Category managers we speak with still face frustration in the crude visibility provided by legacy products and this insufficiency of existing tools provides an opportunity in our view. Centricity as a platform platform empowers category managers to make more customer-centric decisions and increase sales by providing insights within meaningful timeframes, leveling the playing field with e-commerce disruptors such as Amazon. Centricity is currently on-boarding several multinational retailers & CPG companies in to their beta program. If you are interested, reach out to us.
Centricity is currently based in New York, NY.