Manchester-based startup that uses AI and in-depth data to help big brand merchandising teams make better stock buying and pricing decisions, Sparkbox has brought in £1.5 million from Praetura Ventures. The funding will help the startup double its team and onboard further fashion, home and seasonal retailers, where dead stock is a constant challenge.
Founded in 2019 by Lindsay Fisher, Matthew Wong and Kevin Blackmore, the technology startup is on a mission to help retailers run on data. Its software solutions use machine learning to help retailers make data-driven pricing and inventory decisions, ultimately improving profitability and reducing waste.
In addition to protecting retailers from profit losses, the platform’s approach to data also has the potential to aid brand sustainability goals by preventing retailers from over-ordering stock, with wide reports that fashion alone is responsible for up to 10% of global carbon emissions.
Lindsay Fisher, co-founder, Sparkbox said: “As a team of former retailers, we’ve seen first-hand how the retail industry is advancing in many areas but falling behind when it comes to making data-driven decisions. There is immense potential for AI and machine learning to improve profits and reduce waste in retail.”
Colin Greene, operational partner, Praetura Ventures, who was formerly Apple’s director of US Consumer Retail, will also join Sparkbox’s board. Greene added: “Sparkbox’s approach to inventory optimisation has the power to bring about massive changes in fashion and home retail, which is clearly behind the times when it comes to technology adoption within merchandising.”