Shopify called the company a "shining example" of its app ecosystem.
Shopify announced a new product partnership with Klaviyo on Tuesday that will include an investment in the marketing automation company.
The partnership deepens the relationship between the two companies, signaling a vote of confidence from publicly-traded Shopify in a company that grew as part of the ecosystem it fosters to create new ecommerce tools for independent brands, and is now operating in a competitive software segment. Klaviyo, which offers tools to automate personalized email and SMS messages to customers and brings together customer journey data in one platform, has been part of the Shopify ecosystem since 2017. It is already one of the top platforms accessed by brands and merchants on the Shopify app store.
Through the partnership, Klaviyo receives the following:
Founded in 2012, Boston-based Klaviyo has grown to serve more than 100,000 paying users. It works with brands including Unilever, Dermalogica, Solo Stove and Citizen Watches. In May 2021, the company raised a $320 million Series D round that brought its valuation to more than $9 billion. While Shopify is known for empowering startup brands that sell consumer goods, Klaviyo’s rise is a reminder that the community building software and integrations for the platform bolsters entrepreneurship, as well. In a statement announcing the deal, Shopify President Harley Finkelstein called the company “a shining example” of the ecosystem and its impact.
“Klaviyo has become invaluable to hundreds of thousands of merchants to help them better understand their customers and engage them in highly personalized ways across so many touchpoints,” Finkelstein said. “Klaviyo's success has been astounding, and we're excited to take this next step in our already robust partnership to make it even easier for Shopify merchants to grow their businesses.”
It’s the latest strategic investment made by Shopify as it looks to expand capabilities for merchants who use its software to open, manage and grow online stores.
A few weeks ago, the company invested in Nashville-based Single, a startup that makes tools to enable tokengated commerce for creators. Over the last year, the Ottawa, Canada-based company has also invested in ecommerce marketing company Yotpo and small business bookkeeper Bench Accounting.
In June, the company released details on 100 product releases, saying it was ushering in the “Connect to Consumer” era with tools for B2B ecommerce, social commerce, headless commerce and more.
That new era also brought a close to one in which the company expanded rapidly to meet pandemic demand. Last week, Shopify laid off about 1,000 people, or about 10% of its workforce, saying it missed on a projection that ecommerce growth would stay on the same trajectory as the early months of the pandemic. The next day, the company reported a $1.2 billion net loss for the second quarter of 2022 even as it grew revenue 16% year-over-year, and said it expected further losses in the second half, in part due to costs from the Deliverr acquisition. The company said 2022 as a whole would be “more of a transition year, in which ecommerce has largely reset to the pre-COVID trend line and is now pressured by persistent high inflation,” the company said.
Even with that transition, Tuesday’s announcement shows Shopify is continuing to invest in its ecosystem, and there's opportunity for companies that grow.
After all, the economic headwinds, shifts in shopping behavior and privacy-oriented changes in digital advertising that have rewritten direct-to-consumer growth playbooks present the kind of environment where entrepreneurship can solve problems.
“The next era of ecommerce will be marked by a continued shift toward consumer privacy and the forming of strong digital relationships,” Klaviyo CEO Andrew Bialecki wrote in a blog post announcing the deal. “Consumers now have an increased expectation of merchants to deliver smooth, customer-friendly experiences, and there is a continued proliferation of channels in which brands must deliver these experiences. This partnership builds on the combined vision of two powerful platforms to help founders and operators not just weather the new era – whatever it brings –but thrive within it.”
The SnackFutures CoLab program is seeking "disruptively delicious" brands for its spring 2023 cohort.
The maker of Oreo, Ritz and Trident will offer support to emerging snack brands through a four-month program in 2023.
Mondelēz International recently opened applications for CoLab, a startup engagement program that provides funding, education and mentorship to startup brands. The company said it created the program to bring “big and small” together in the interest of promoting growth for all.
SnackFutures, which is the innovation and venture hub of Chicago-based Mondelēz, is set to hold the third cohort of the CoLab program in spring 2023. Applications are open through December 2022.
This year’s theme for the CoLab program is “disruptively delicious.”
“The team is looking for brands that are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in making a snack delicious – from flavors, to experience, to sustainability to packaging - as well as grabbing the attention of retailers and getting consumers coming back for more,” Mondelēz writes.
The program shows how CPG companies are applying the accelerator model popularized by software startups to create points of convergence with up-and-coming brands that often start by selling and marketing through digital channels.
Emerging brands that are selected receive a $20,000 grant. The 12-week program offers in-person workshops, hands-on experiences, virtual curriculum sessions and 1-on-1 mentorship. Participants also get access to Mondelēz International experts and partners. Mondelēz oversees a portfolio of brands including Oreo, Ritz, Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Trident.
“To be launching a third class of CoLab demonstrates Mondelēz International’s commitment to thinking and behaving as a consumer-centric, future forward leader in snacking,” said Brigette Wolf, VP and Global Head of SnackFutures, in a statement. “The startups that participate in this program tell us they are blown away by the access and attention they get from our experts and ecosystem; and our leaders and employees are inspired by the drive and discipline of these entrepreneurs.”
Startups must be based in the U.S., generating at least $1 million in revenue and have “high growth potential,” the company said. The startups must also align with the Mondelēz International innovation priorities and be in position to benefit from working with the company.Find an application at the SnackFutures website.