Centricity Inc, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to help companies predict consumer demand for specific products in specific communities, is expected to raise $10 million in new venture capital this year.
The New York-based company, one of many tech startups that grew during the pandemic, uses artificial insemination algorithms to analyze about 2.5 billion Internet traffic records every day to predict product demand so that retailers can stock their shelves accordingly.
A dozen unnamed companies in Europe, Canada and the United States are using Centricity’s software platform in sectors such as grocery, non-food retail, apparel and consumer electronics, according to CEO Michael Brackett, who founded the company in late 2019.
Centricity employs about 50 people, up from fewer than 10 last year, and the planned fundraising could bring total venture capital investment to $12.5 million.
Startups like Centricity, which develop software and services directly for large enterprises, benefited from increased demand for their services during the coronavirus pandemic as companies were forced to accelerate their digital initiatives to remain competitive.
Companies use information from Centricity’s AI to predict what customers will want to buy in one to three months to stock their shelves accordingly.
The technology can also be used by R&D departments in companies interested in producing new products.
Managing Director of Centricity Michael Brackett
Mr. Brackett founded Centricity after working in the food industry for more than 20 years, including managing a $600 million dairy portfolio for a Dutch food retailer.
Royal Hold Delhaize
Planning an inventory based on future consumer demand is a challenge. Retailers are trying to do this by using data from sources that track consumer spending, said Brandon Purcell, the research firm’s senior analyst.
Forrester Research Inc.
Traditional players include a global data analytics company
PLC and market research firm IRI, which claims to use high-quality, up-to-date consumer spending data to provide business customers with vital information for planning inventories, promotions and pricing.
The pandemic has highlighted the difficulties of storage to meet current consumer demand. As a result, there will likely be a wave of new startups trying to use AI to predict demand for certain products in real time, Purcell said.
Centricity plans to file one or more patents for its core technology. It is an impulse-based system that uses AI to predict how likely it is that a group of people in a certain region will buy a certain product, for example, a product that is not on the market. B. Yeast for bread, buy. The vision can be up to 1 kilometer, Brackett said.
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The system, which uses a suite of AI-based algorithms, currently analyzes about 2.5 billion points of Internet traffic per day and 75 billion pages per month, with room for growth beyond that figure, said Jason Nichols, chief technology officer at Centricity.
Mr. Nichols was the former president of ATI…
Intelligent Retail Lab, where he worked on understanding customer behavior and inventory management using technologies such as computer vision.
The AI system can analyze billions of raw web traffic data points, thanks in part to Centricity’s partnerships with online publishers, advertising agencies, content marketers and on-demand vendors that sell software to digital advertisers.
This data includes information about a user’s location, the websites they visit, the search terms they use, and the specific pages they click within the site. The algorithms analyze the data to determine the exact areas in which groups of people are interested in a particular product and indicate the probability that this group of people will buy that product in a particular area.
Centricity’s human analysts also work with customer data teams to put the AI model’s recommendations into the context of each customer’s target market, Nichols said.
Mr. Brackett said he originally planned to sell the product to executives overseeing category management and merchandising, but realized the buyers were information and technology managers.
Centricity is one of the fastest growing startups in Bowery Capital’s portfolio of more than 50 companies, said.
Co-founder and managing partner of a start-up venture capital firm. Bowery Capital also plans to invest in a Series A fund for which Centricity is seeking $10 million in venture capital.
The New York-based company led Centricity’s $2.5 million seed funding round in August 2019, Brown said.
Email Sarah Castellanos at [email protected]
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