New York, New York, June 15, 2022 08:00 ET: Global marketing technology company, The Brandtech Group has acquired a majority stake in e-commerce SaaS platform, Acorn-i.
The acquisition was led by The Brandtech Group partner, Virginie Douin, former head of Amazon’s global partner program. Douin joined the group last year to supercharge its thriving e-comm offering by solving several pain points for global clients looking to scale their e-commerce, to increase its efficiency, and to stop wasting marketing spend.
Acorn-i is an e-commerce platform that helps brands and sellers grow and scale their business across direct-to-consumer channels and digital marketplaces. It provides self-service technology, Ignite, which offers a suite of e-commerce analytics and insights products combined with AI-powered retail media capabilities. In addition, the company has a team of accredited experts able to provide services across all digital channels. Its integrations include Amazon and all the major digital and e-commerce channels such as Shopify, Google, Facebook, TikTok, Walmart and Instacart.
The Brandtech Group partner, Virginie Douin, says: “Brands will be able to combine Acorn-i’s technology with the group’s existing tech and in-housing capabilities. Acorn-i gives The Brandtech Group unparalleled ability to combine best-in-class service and SaaS, and build tailored solutions for brands using automation to connect marketing and retail media with e-commerce. There is no other solution that combines proprietary technology, full-funnel marketing and e-commerce services, and the group’s market-leading in-housing model.”
Acorn-i was founded in 2019 by Claire Leon and Ross Caveille, who both left senior roles at Amazon to combine their deep expertise with innovative technology to help brands sell more online. From their unique position, they could see global brands were finding it difficult to navigate the fast-growing and complex e-commerce market, often resulting in siloed, ineffective solutions.
The growing importance of frictionless e-commerce was highlighted by Unilever Chief Digital and Commercial Officer, Conny Braams, who said recently at the WFA Global Marketers Week that “commerce channels have become media channels, and media and entertainment channels have become commerce channels.”
Covid-19 accelerated the adoption of e-commerce and in 2021, retail e-commerce sales amounted to approximately $4.9 trillion worldwide. This figure is forecast to grow by 50 percent, reaching about $7.4 trillion by 2025, according to Statista.
Brands rapidly deployed solutions to cope with the exceptional growth in online shopping. But most offerings are currently built with e-commerce in a silo. The Brandtech Group believes it is vital to directly connect all e-commerce and marketing activities, and in ways that can be fully customized to each brand’s requirements rather than with a one-size-fits-all package.
Acorn-i, which operates globally, has offices in the US and the UK with approximately 100 clients across five continents.
Acorn-i co-founder, Claire Leon, says: “From day one, our vision for Acorn-I was to be a key global provider of omnichannel software and services across the e-commerce and marketing landscape. The Brandtech Group’s global reach and current capabilities gives us an exciting opportunity to expand our offering to our collective partners, and across geographical locations. It was clear to us from the beginning that the group’s team shared the values and commitment to their brand partners that we hold core to our business – using technology and people together to make smart business and marketing decisions. This venture will enable us to accelerate product innovation, and amplify our position in-market. We are thrilled to be joining the group at this key stage of our journey. “
Oliver and Inside Ideas Group founder and CEO, Simon Martin, says: “E-commerce already represents a significant part of our business and is a key growth driver, and brands are looking to in-house more in this space. I'm delighted with the addition of Acorn-i to the group. It allows us to enable more automation for our clients and further support their in-housing needs in e-commerce, and, crucially, seamlessly connect their e-commerce and marketing.”
The Brandtech Group founder, David Jones, says: “Due to the pandemic most brands have had to grapple with the exponential explosion of e-commerce for them as a channel. Their new problem is how to ensure their e-commerce activity - that is now bigger than it ever was - doesn't sit in an isolated silo and is connected to all the broader marketing activities. Acorn-i's brilliant tech platform combined with Virginie's deep e-commerce expertise and our unique in-housing model will allow us to solve this pain point for brands. I'm super happy they are joining the group. What Claire, Ross, James and team have built at Acorn-i is extremely impressive - working across five continents already and having a major global footprint that we can now work on together to scale to the next level.”