We focused our Power List on venture-backed tech companies creating value and driving impact in the most critical areas for brands and retailers today, including marketing, merchandising, and loyalty. The post-pandemic customer wants it fast, customized, and secure, and these vendors are helping retailers’ and brands’ customers interact more effectively and elegantly than ever before.
Algolia is the world’s only end-to-end AI search and discovery platform. The company delivers a combination of market-leading natural language processing and keyword via vector search – all uniquely packaged on a single API and supported by hyperscale indexing. The company’s vision, mission and purpose is “Powering Discovery”.
Attentive is the leader in conversational commerce, reinventing business-to-consumer communication. Its SMS-first software platform helps everyone from entrepreneurs to enterprises strengthen relationships with their consumers in a new way.
Bloomreach empowers brands to deliver customer experiences so personalized they feel like magic. It offers a suite of products that includes the marketing platform Engagement, the AI-powered product discovery tool Discovery and the commerce-attuned CMS Content.
Powering over 1,000 direct-to-consumer brands, retailers, and media publishers worldwide, Firework brings TikTok-like interactive video experiences to users’ websites and apps. We enable customers to create and host native, shoppable video content for engaging product discovery, seamless shopping experiences, and a deeper emotional connection with consumers.
Klaviyo is a unified customer platform that gives online brands direct ownership of their consumer data and interactions, empowering them to turn transactions with customers into long-term relationships—at scale. With Klaviyo, brands can combine unlimited customer data with more than 250 native integrations to automate personalized email and SMS communications that make customers feel seen.
Mirakl is a global SaaS technology company that enables businesses to achieve profitable and sustainable e-commerce growth. Mirakl’s industry-leading suite includes solutions in marketplace, dropship, supplier catalog management and payout, supplier sourcing ecosystem, personalization and retail media to revolutionize the way businesses sell online.
Since 2014, Recharge has helped over 15,000 merchants launch and scale their subscription business. Be it a curated monthly box, recurring necessities or access to exclusive perks, Recharge powers billions of dollars in annual processing for 50 million consumers.
soona is the world’s first virtual content studio helping over 17K brands get professional and affordable photos & videos in less than 24 hours. The company was founded in 2019 by Liz Giorgi and Hayley Anderson after the successful acquisition of their first business, Mighteor. Liz and Hayley are a dynamic founding creative team with a shared vision of using tech to enhance the work of creatives and improve access to high-quality custom content.
Wunderkind is a leading performance marketing engine that delivers tailored experiences at scale. Digital businesses use Wunderkind to significantly better remember users, allowing them to deliver high-converting, one-to-one messages on websites, through emails and texts and in ads at a scale that’s not otherwise possible.
Yotpo is the leading e-commerce retention marketing platform, helping thousands of forward-thinking brands like Steve Madden, Princess Polly, Brooklinen and Morrocanoil win customers for life. Its platform approach connects data-driven solutions for reviews, visual UGC, loyalty, referrals, SMS marketing, email and subscriptions, empowering brands to maximize the value of their customers.
Our inaugural set of Rising Stars are the leaders of tomorrow, building infrastructure, platforms, and tools that enable retailers and brands to create stronger, valuable ties with consumers. Prediction: these up-and-comer’s names (including a few new AI-centric players) will start popping up in all of your retail and commerce newsletters in the next six months. Click each logo to learn more.
Archive is the leading technology platform for branded resale. More than 40 global brands including The North Face, Oscar de la Renta, and DVF leverage Archive’s platform to build a profitable revenue stream, attract new customers, and build customer loyalty—all while keeping products out of landfill.
EON is retail’s leading product cloud platform, delivering business value to global retail brands through unique, item-level Digital IDs. With a Digital ID for every product, brands unlock unlimited potential: They can trace their products from end-to-end, unlock and scale new business models, instantly authenticate their products and engage customers long after sale.
Lily AI is a female-founded retail AI company empowering retailers and brands by bridging the gap between merchant-speak and customer-speak. Leveraging computer vision, natural language processing, machine learning and vertical-specific large language models (LLMs), Lily AI enhances customer shopping experiences by injecting consumer-centric language throughout the retail technology ecosystem. Lily AI maximizes existing tech investments to deliver upwards of 9-figure revenue lift through improved product attribution, enhanced discovery, and higher customer conversion. Learn more at www.lily.ai.
Optimatik leverages generative AI and big data to help D2C brands scale and optimize creative across audience and channel while being on brand.
Zenlytic is a self-serve analytics tool that helps brands deeply understand the data behind their acquisition, conversion, and retention. The tool features a built-in AI data analyst who can answer questions in seconds instead of days. This is made possible by combining LLMs with a powerful semantic layer that helps the AI understand each brand.
It’s no secret that it’s a pretty tough time right now for retail. Most every article and tweet is all doom and gloom in our industry. But if history is our guide, some of the most important commerce and marketing-tech vendors will thrive in this time of unrest in the market.
Hi! My name is Scott Friend, and I’m a Partner at Bain Capital Ventures, where I invest in early stage commerce and marketing-tech companies. I’m also a former founder of a venture-backed commerce-tech company (which we sold to Oracle back in 2005), and I vividly remember how important early signals of validation — like third-party awards — can be when trying to gain traction and demonstrate product-market fit. That’s why my co-sponsors, Aaron Cheris from Bain & Company and Deborah Weinswig from Coresight Research, and I decided to launch this survey to bring together and recognize the most impressive, thoughtful minds in our industry and start building a community for both current and future leaders.
Historically, times of retail disruption have proven to be fertile ground for growing disruptive new tech companies. The economic turmoil associated with the bursting of the Dot Com Bubble in 2001 and the domination of Walmart across the retail landscape precipitated massive disruption for major retailers. But this unrest led to the emergence of merchandising and supply-chain technology innovation from vendors like i2, Manugistics, ProfitLogic (my former company), Retek and many more vendors who built solutions that helped the rest of the field compete more effectively with the then technology leader in retail, Walmart.
Similarly, The Great Financial Crisis of 2009 created a drag on consumer spending and, subsequently, retailer performance. This occurred in concert with the growth in domination of Amazon in digital retail. The result – the emergence of a whole new category of important technologies built to enable historically brick and mortar brands to more easily get online and capitalize on their omni-channel potential. Current dominant businesses like Shopify, Exact Target (now part of SalesForce.com) and so many more were fueled by the needs of brands and retailers to up their digital game.
Yet the capabilities to optimize performance, in marketing, in merchandising, in customer service, and supply chain are more robust than ever. And innovative entrepreneurs are capitalizing on the many important platform capability improvements at their disposal, including the latest evolution of generative artificial intelligence, to turbo charge their offerings and help consumer-facing businesses grow faster, and more efficiently.
It’s against this promising backdrop that we’ve established our Top 10 Power Players and Rising Stars. While there are innovations throughout the commerce ecosystem, from manufacturing and supply chain to store operations and delivery, we’ve chosen to limit the categories for this first go-round to marketing and merchandising-related tech vendors. These companies, creating value in customer acquisition, assortment planning and loyalty — are impacting the commerce ecosystem in ways Aaron and Deb and I believe will be the most important drivers of differentiated retail performance over this cycle.
To be eligible to be a “Power Player”, a company has to have $10 million or more in annual revenue. To be a “Rising Star”, vendors must have less than $10 million in annual revenue. Based on that simple initial metric, we solicited nominations from our Advisory Board and Selection Committee, a high-profile mix of C-level executives across the brand and retail landscape, to choose the top companies. We then took into consideration the caliber of the founding team – looking for industry experts, often former practitioners in their field, with a compelling vision for the market and recognition as thought leaders by customers and partners, as well as proven traction and a differentiated and sustainable approach to value-creation.
On behalf of Bain & Company, Coresight Research, Bain Capital Ventures, and our tremendous Advisory Board, huge congratulations to each of the 15 winners.
Scott Friend, BCV
Deb Weinswig, Coresight Research
Aaron Cheris, Bain & Co.
Aaron CherisPartner, Bain & Company
Scott FriendPartner, Bain Capital Ventures
Deborah WeinswigCEO & Founder,