RetailNext raises $125M with an eye toward acquisitions

In-store analytics firm RetailNext last week announced a $125 million funding round, bringing the company’s total raised to date to $184 million. The investment was led by Activant Capital Group, and Activant founder Steve Sarracino joined the RetailNext board of directors. Also participating were existing investors August Capital, StarVest Partners, Nokia Growth Partners, Commerce Ventures,American Express, Pereg Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures, plus new investor Siguler Guff & Company.

Since 2007, RetailNext has offered a platform for brick-and-mortar retailers to gain insight into customer behavior and store operations. Drawing on a variety of data sources—including video feeds, mobile device detection, and point-of-sale data—the cloud-based software provides data and analytics that go far beyond a simple count of how many people enter the store each day. Retailers can learn things like how customers travel through the store, which displays are most effective, and where and when to assign staff to be most helpful and efficient.

RetailNext already has wide global reach, with customers in 40 countries and more than 1,000 new stores being added to the platform every month. While some of the new influx of funding will go toward strengthening that growth and expanding R&D, RetailNext CEO Alexei Agratchev says it also “affords us the flexibility to aggressively evaluate acquisition opportunities.”

The company has only made one acquisition to date: the December 2013 purchase of Wi-Fi location analytics firm Nearbuy Systems. In the meantime, the retail analytics space has seen a handful of recent acquisitions by players in marketing, business software, and e-commerce:

Even with those moves, there remain plenty of independent startups creating innovative ways to measure in-store customer behavior. From beacon solutions like Estimote, to smart flooring systems likeScanalytics’ SoleSensor, to visual crowd measurement platforms like Placemeter, RetailNext will have no shortage of possible targets to woo with its new pile of cash.

Related: In-Store Analytics