French start-up Akeneo raises $13m for ‘CRM of products’

20 Mar 2017

Image: Akeneo

Akeneo, a product information management company looking to overhaul companies’ logging structures, just raised $13m in Series B funding.

The product information management (PIM) industry is big, estimated to be worth nearly $16bn by 2021. Akeneo, a Nantes-based start-up, has raised significant funding to ensure its novel approach to this industry really catches hold.

Bidding to bring customer relationship management (CRM) to the PIM world, Akeneo attracted Partech Ventures and Alven Capital to lead a $13m round, bringing its total funding to date to $15m.

The idea behind Akeneo is to use open source PIM solutions to enable manufacturers and brands to turn product data into assets.

It combines detailed data about products across sales channels, helping manufacturers and e-commerce companies get a better grip on things: for example, they can improve conversion rates when dealing internationally, or better tailor their production lines.

“We work with many brands and distributors that are in the process of moving their operations definitively into the e-commerce world,” said Akeneo CEO and co-founder Frédéric de Gombert.

“Our belief is that there cannot be effective and lasting digital transformation if it does not include product data quality as a core focus.”

Partech is keen, claiming PIM in general is a growing area it wants to get on board with. Reza Malekzadeh, partner with the VC firm, claimed the “boom of product offers” across the board means better management tools are now a necessity.

“Akeneo’s exceptional model, its great international relevance, and the ambitious vision and effective performance of its team, have us utterly convinced that it is about to set a new standard on the product data management market,” he said.

Akeneo claims 40,000 businesses have downloaded its software, with 120 global companies – Samsung, Adidas, Universal Music Group and Carrefour are listed – using the premium variant.

The company is using the new funding to double its R&D team and accelerate international sales.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic