Commerce

We are former founders and operators at leading commerce and marketing-tech companies whose focus at BCV is entirely on these ecosystems.

Bain Capital’s unique advantages in commerce and marketing are unmatched—and our venture investments in commerce tech date back to the 2000’s. For Scott’s former company, ProfitLogic, access to Bain Capital’s retail and brand portfolio (including iconic companies like Canada Goose, Michaels Stores, Guitar Center, Cotopaxi, and Bugaboo) was a major part of how BCV became his largest investor, and also why he chose to join the BCV team after selling ProfitLogic to Oracle. Merritt has been a leading proponent of the value creation associated with B2B marketplaces, spearheading our investments in several high-growth B2B marketplace concepts. And Christina joined BCV after leading product teams at Affirm and GoFundMe, operating at the intersection of commerce and fintech.   

From commerce enablement companies that helped major retailers and brands become more data-driven and omnichannel-enabled (such as ProfitLogic, Kiva Systems, Tell Apart, Bloomreach, HookLogic, and Persado), to companies that foresaw and facilitated the e-commerce revolution with widespread adoption of mobile usage and cloud computing, we have been a part of every foundational shift in how the world shops and sells over the last two decades. Whether it’s personalized business-to-consumer communications from Attentive, infrastructure for 3P marketplaces with Mirakl, highly efficient e-commerce logistics with ShipBob, or first-party data infrastructure with mParticle, BCV continues to partner with innovators to build the foundation for modern commerce operations.

We have also invested in novel retail concepts and marketplaces—in effect, next-gen retailers, not brands. We have been involved since the earliest days of company formation with market leading consumer concepts like Rent The Runway, Jet.com, Material Bank, Ankorstore, and Wonder. Through the creative deployment of modern technology and data infrastructure, each of the companies has delivered a powerful new value proposition to consumers while establishing a massive moat.  

We don’t care about “stage.” Our objective is to partner with great founders who we can help to build scalable, defensible, highly profitable businesses. We were the first check into Rent The Runway, Persado, and Bloomreach, led the Series A in Attentive, and led growth rounds at Mirakl, Material Bank, and Ankorstore. Across our portfolio we are known for our “roll up our sleeves” approach, whether to help find and close a key exec, facilitate the right c-level customer introductions, support a new financing, or think through how to handle the inevitable ups and downs of company building.  We have lived the battles as founders, operators, and board members from the earliest stages to scale and exit. We aim to be your first phone call, the relationship you know you can count on, day or night, at each stage of growth. 

Focus Areas

Personalization - Machine Learning / AI

We work closely with predictive technologies and personalized marketing tools such as Persado, Attentive, Bloomreach, and mParticle, which arm both incumbents and new entrants with cloud-based, machine learning-centric, digital tools to understand, find, and market to customers—and increase retention through optimized, personalized, authentic customer experiences.

Social Commerce and Creator Economy Tools

Traditional advertising channels (i.e., Facebook and Google) are oversaturated. Meeting the consumer in their daily user-flow on social media and creating in-unit shoppable experiences are likely to create higher intent to purchase. Empowering creators and influencers with the tools to run their businesses effectively has become imperative for them and for the brands that rely on them for success. 

Marketplace Proliferation

The future of marketplaces are capital-light businesses with large-scale efficiencies. More and more, B2B relationships and transactions are coming online–creating greater transparency and broader access to both supply and demand. We invested in ACV Auctions, Material Bank, andAnkorstore to help remove layers of the legacy value chain, directly connecting sellers and buyers. And our portfolio company Mirakl powers many of the large-scale retail, wholesale and manufacturer ecosystems in building their own 3P marketplace capabilities.

Commerce Meets Fintech

Increasingly we see financial services embedded within e-commerce flows to optimize checkout experiences for consumers and create profitable new revenue streams for merchants (i.e., BNPL, wallets, loyalty, next-gen PLCC). Arming brands with better financing and accounting integrations contributes to more growth. We invested in Recharge to solve subscription commerce pain points for brands and Catch to build a next-gen closed-loop payment network to enhance consumer loyalty.

Experiential Retail - Web3 and the Metaverse

New experiential retail models offer immersive virtual shopping capabilities to “transport” shoppers to any venue/store/brand. 3D-enabled consumers will explore virtual worlds and brands will use the metaverse as additional selling channels for both digital and physical products with Web3 infrastructure driving loyalty and authentication.

Commerce 4.0

What’s next?  You tell us!  We’re here to learn, share ideas and leverage our broad reach and depth of domain connectivity to support you in realizing your vision. Drop us a line. We love to talk shop.

Commerce Insights

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Dawit Heck 10 min read
Bain Capital Ventures Commerce

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