LightSpeed, a leading software company that helps retailers revolutionize in-store shopping, announced today the closing of a $30 million Series A investment from Accel Partners. The funding represents the first institutional investment in the Company’s history and will be used to further bolster LightSpeed’s rapidly growing team, enhance its product portfolio and drive international expansion opportunities.
LightSpeed was founded in 2005 in Montreal by software designer and CEO, Dax Dasilva. It software turns Mac computers, iPads, and iPhones into cutting edge sales and retail management tools-bringing the access, value and speed of online shopping into the store environment. The company’s solutions are used by nearly 10,000 retailers in more than 30 countries, ranging from boutiques in NYC’s trendy SoHo district such as Nordstrom-owned Treasure & Bond to large global brands like Adidas and Vespa, to improve the customer’s shopping experience, store sales performance and back-office efficiency.
“LightSpeed is helping solve the most crucial issue facing retailers today: creating an in-store experience exciting enough to compete against e-commerce,” said Accel partner, Ryan Sweeney, who will join the company’s board. “LightSpeed offers the only solution we’ve seen that allows any retailer to create an Apple-like in-store experience, which draws people away from the computer and into the store.”
Over the last 5 years, the company has grown revenue approximately 2,000 percent, earning the title of Quebec’s fastest growing company in 2011. LightSpeed’s success to-date has come without external funding, as Dasilva and team have bootstrapped the company.
Raised on Macs, iPhones and iPads, today’s iGeneration consumers have become accustomed to shopping online from their coucheasily navigating through product selections and comparing prices across the web. By delivering an in-store experience that is as convenient, user-friendly and compelling as shopping online, LightSpeed holds the key to getting consumers off the couch and back into the store. LightSpeed’s solutions include the first truly interactive point-of-sale system for iPad, giving stores a personalized selling tool that scans inventory and details products not on the selling floor through its “Show & Tell” feature. In addition, purchases can be made from a mobile device anywhere in the store, without waiting in a long check-out line.
LightSpeed also allows sales associates to engage more deeply with customers-building a stronger connection as personal consultants instead of hunting through the stock room or ringing up purchases behind the checkout counter. Retailers can also increase operating efficiencies through strong back office features including inventory management, sales/ordering workflows, e-commerce integrations, multi-store capabilities and developer-friendly open APIs.
“We see an enormous global market for LightSpeed,” noted CEO Dasilva. “To-date, our retail customers have ranged from boutiques to leading-edge brands that already engage today’s technologically advanced consumer. With our new capital resources and partners at Accel, we will further enhance our products and solutions that help virtually any store chain, anywhere in the world, to move ahead of the curve in the digital retail revolution and embrace the needs of today’s shoppers. We’re extremely proud of our terrific LightSpeed team and distributor network for growing our business to this level and positioning us for the exciting opportunities ahead, and we are thrilled to be partnering with Accel, who have a history of working with the most innovative technology companies globally.”
For Accel, the investment marks a growing theme of investing in best-of-breed technology companies that bring Apple into the enterprise. “We are constantly searching for innovative companies that capitalize on the superior user experience of Apple’s suite of products to deliver outperformance in the enterprise. LightSpeed and Dax have proven that the power of Apple’s intuitive products combined with disruptive technology can spark growth in retail,” said Sweeney, “We believe that bringing the Apple-store experience to retailers has the power to reinvigorate the retail landscape.”
By the numbers:
- LightSpeed has grown revenue ~2,000% over the last 5 years
- LightSpeed named fastest growing company in Quebec in 2011 and one of the fastest growing software companies in Canada
- LightSpeed services nearly 10,000 retail customers today, ranging from SoHo boutiques like Nordstrom-owned Treasure & Bond to large retailers like Adidas and Vespa
- LightSpeed software is resold by over 400 retail channel partners in more than 30 countries
- LightSpeed has more than 50 employees in Montreal and Ottawa and is hiring aggressively
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, California, New York City, London and Bangalore, as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel. Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful companies, many of which have defined their categories, including Angry Birds (Rovio), Atlassian, Braintree, Facebook, Groupon, Kayak, Playfish, QlikTech, Spotify, and Wonga.