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Compare Metrics Secures $4.2M First Round

2013-05-22
AUSTIN, TX, Company that empowers brands to harness disconnected information from across the web announced that it has received $4.2 million in first-round financing.
Compare Metrics, an Adaptive Commerce company that empowers brands to harness disconnected information from across the web to power individualized discovery experiences and drive sales, today announced that it has received $4.2 million in first-round financing. The financing was lead by Austin Ventures and includes follow-on investment from the existing syndicate, including Mike Maples (Floodgate), Bob Greene (Contour Venture Partners), Julie Allegro (Allegro Venture Partners) and Ralph Mack (Mack Capital), as well as new independent investors, including Tom Meredith and Adam Ross .

This brings the company's total funds raised to $4.2 million, $3.5 million of which comes from Austin Ventures in leading the series A. The round will be used to support aggressive growth as companies, especially retailers, embrace the Compare Metrics solution as the next generation leap in product discovery and decision analytics.

"Compare Metrics is transforming the way people are making buying decisions," said Compare Metrics' co-founder and CEO Garrett Eastham , a thought-leader on semantic search and human-computer interaction. "We believe the future of online consumer discovery is not about creating the ultimate algorithm to tell consumers what they want but about giving consumers the best tools to articulate their personal desires and confidently follow their unique decision-making path."

Technology Is Not a Replacement for Thought

"With the ever-expanding breadth of structured and unstructured information on the web, it's understandable that consumers feel overwhelmed and often paralyzed when trying to make a buying decision. This effect is most obvious in the average retailer's lower online conversion rate of 3-5%," said Eastham. "Studies point to a lack of product information or simply not being able to find 'the right product' as the primary reasons for such low purchasing confidence. However you look at it, consumers are looking for a better discovery experience."

The Compare Metrics solution is evolutionary, but it is inspired by simple, fundamental cognitive principles regarding how the brain processes information using visual and informational cues to make a decision. Core to the solution is a philosophy of combining the art of human-processing with the science of algorithmic data analysis and optimization to provide an ever-improving experience for each consumer. It's a symbiotic relationship between the strongest processor in the world " the human brain " and advanced and purposeful big data processing.

Compare Metrics was co-founded in late 2012 by Garrett Eastham , Mikael Solomon and Stephen Goodwin . The solution was inspired by cognitive science research Eastham led at Stanford University to understand the impact of different computer interfaces on the decision-making process. The team has grown the idea into an innovative technology platform built from the ground-up, grown a highly scalable content curation team and content management system, and has signed market-leading customers.

"Compare Metrics will forever change the way that brands engage with and understand their customers," said Brett Hurt , a veteran technology entrepreneur who founded Coremetrics and Bazaarvoice, currently works with Austin Ventures as a Venture Partner, and who also serves the Austin tech community as an angel investor and entrepreneurial catalyst. "Through all of my years " since 1998 " pioneering solutions that bring retailers into the digital age, an ongoing challenge has been providing each consumer with the unique mix of information they need to make a purchase decision. By curating a totally new layer of brand and consumer-created product meta data, Compare Metrics is better positioning brands to offer each customer a discovery experience tailored to how they actually think while shopping." Brett backed Compare Metrics as a seed investor and has joined the company as the independent Chairman of the Board of Directors.

"The entrepreneurs we seek to back are those we see taking a provocative approach to address big problems," said Chris Pacitti , General Partner at Austin Ventures. "When Garrett, Mikael and Stephen approached us in late 2012 with a solution that married the strengths of the human decision-making engine with big data processing and optimization, we knew they were onto something unique and promising. Market excitement has validated our early assumptions, and we look forward to being an on-going part of Compare Metrics' growth and success."

Compare Metrics Leadership

Austin-based Compare Metrics has assembled a team of executives and advisors with deep expertise in human-computer interaction, social commerce and retail software and analytics.

As Co-Founder and CEO, Garrett Eastham drives overall business and product strategy while also leading the day-to-day execution of the company's vision. Most recently, Garrett helped launch Bazaarvoice Inc.'s big data solution used to track all interaction data across the platform. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Stanford University where his research work in semantic search and human computer interaction (HCI) formed the theoretical basis for the Compare Metrics solution and architecture.

Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Mikael Solomon is responsible for defining the positioning of Compare Metrics in the online commerce space. This includes execution on strategic partnerships and corporate development plans to maximize the company's longterm value and success. As an entrepreneur with over 6 years of experience, Mikael got his start as the Founder of Stanford Student Startups, a student operated incubator, where he advised and launched several companies. He brings direct retail experience from his previous work with McMaster-Carr and has extensive experience in the Financial Services industry, formerly at Morgan Stanley.

Co-Founder and CTO Stephen Goodwin is laser focused on ensuring that the Compare Metrics infrastructure and platform remain reliable, fast and innovative. Stephen is a seasoned software engineer with deep experience pushing the boundaries of search technologies for some of the best-known engines in the world, including Microsoft Bing and Indeed.com.

In addition, Compare Metrics has assembled a world-class advisory board of thought-leaders in the retail and technology industries. These advisors bring deep experience from leading institutions including Bazaarvoice, Mass Relevance, and Invodo, among others. A full list of advisors is available here.

About Compare Metrics

Compare Metrics offers Adaptive Commerce solutions that drive next generation product discovery and allow consumers to forge their own distinct path to a buying decision. The solution scales merchandising to support every consumer shopping scenario while creating new intelligence into how and why your shoppers buy. With this new-found ability to understand and react to what customers really care about, retailers have seen increased shopper engagement, increased conversion, as well as improved relevancy and efficiency in demand generation and marketing strategies.

Founded and led by a team steeped in experience building proven retail technology and pushing the boundaries of machine learning and natural language processing, Compare Metrics is changing the way consumers discover and decide on the right products for them. Based in Austin, TX, the company is privately held and supported by trusted venture capital partners and advisors. More information about Compare Metrics is available at the company's Web site: www.comparemetrics.com.

About Austin Ventures

Austin Ventures ("AV") has worked with talented entrepreneurs to build valuable companies for over 30 years. With $3.9 billion of capital raised, AV is the most active venture capital firm in Texas and one of the most established in the nation. AV invests in early stage and middle market companies, and its strategy is to partner with talented executives and entrepreneurs to build industry-leading companies predominantly in Texas. Visit Austin Ventures for more information.
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