Profitero, an online insights and ecommerce intelligence business for retailers and brands, has closed an $8 million (€5.9 million) funding round with American venture capital firm Polaris Partners.
The company, which was founded in Ireland, plans to increase its employee numbers from 40 to 100 staff over the next 18 months as it increases its presence in North America and other markets.
Following the investment, Irfan Salim, the former chief executive of MarkMonitor – a brand protection business sold in 2012 to Thompson Reuters – is joining the board of Profitero.
"The Profitero vision is to become the Nielsen of the online world for global retailers and brands," Mr Salim said.
MarkMonitor, his previous business, which was also backed by Polaris, had 400 employees and counted half of the Fortune top 100 brands among its clients by the time it was sold.
Profitero, with its headquarters in Dun Laoghaire, South Dublin, was founded by Vol Pigrukh, Dmitry Vysotski, and Kanstantsin Chernysh.
Ukrainian-born Mr Pigrukh previously worked for Google in Dublin while Belarusian Mr Vysotski formerly worked for IBM in Ireland. Profitero employs six people in Dublin and has a 34-strong engineering team developing its product in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. It previously took in about $1 million in private equity funding from Delta Partners and Enterprise Ireland, who remain shareholders post Polaris' investment. Belarus Mr Pigrukh said Profitero planned to increase its employees in Dublin to 20, double its engineering team in Belarus, and hire 20 people to build its footprint in North America.
“We have been break-even since October 2012 and are making a profit,” Mr Pigrukh said. “This investment will allow us accelerate our growth.”
Mr Vysotski said Profitero monitored 220 million prices daily for its clients, and wanted to increase this to 500 million. 50 clients He said Profitero already had 50 clients including online retail giants like Staples, Sam's Club, Waitrose and Ocado.
Mr Pigrukh said Profitero had initially targeted online retailers interested in monitoring their competitors online but also wanted to sell more to the owners of brands.
“We already have a couple of manufacturer brands as clients. We can deliver them value and gather for them online KPIs [key performance indicators for their own brands and competitors].”