Today, we at Evli Growth Partners are joining forces with Klevu, the leading natural language processing (NLP) based search solution for e-commerce. We are truly impressed by the technical capabilities and born-global attitude of the company. In our eyes, Klevu’s unfair access to tech talent and their strong value proposition makes them stand out from the ground. By leading their Series A of 5 M€ with support from existing shareholders, including our friends at Inventure and great angels, we are looking forward to starting our journey together to build a global winner for intelligent search!
- Sector: SaaS / eCommerce / NLP
- HQ: Helsinki, Finland
- Headcount: 55
- Responsible partner: Ari Korhonen
Honest execution without fancy buzzwords — and great results
We were in touch with Klevu and their founders Nilay, Niraj, Jyrki and Jussi already early in the spring. To be honest, the reasons for contacting Nilay were not related to the typical VC-buzzwords about magnificent vision or category-creation to build a better world. Instead, you rarely see a well-focused, execution-oriented SaaS-company that is doubling its revenue every year (who wouldn’t like that, right?).
However, soon we realized that there is much more in Klevu than meets the eye. The three founders — all possessing a Ph.D., by the way — are strong experts in their own fields and very passionate about the product they are building. They have created the leading NLP-based search engine and are the only ones to effectively leverage the full and updated catalogue of the merchant. It gives Klevu a unique opportunity to teach its algorithms and empower online merchants to serve their clients better and better every day.
Klevu has created the leading NLP-based search engine to empower online merchants to serve their clients better and better every day
One of the most impressive aspects about Klevu is their global attitude from the day one. With the core team of diverse backgrounds from Finland, the UK and India, Klevu transmits diversity, inclusion and global attitude in business and its team. With over 90 % of the business outside Finland (+40 % from the USA) and the team of 55 people spread across 4 continents and speaking 9 languages, there are solid indicators of a truly born-global Finnish startup with a unique access to talent. The team is very product-oriented and enhancing their commercial capabilities continuously. We believe this is a lucrative recipe for the future.
From intensive dating to committed relationship
In Evli Growth Partners, our approach is to be focused and selective every time we invest. We are aiming at making only 3–4 investments per year, giving us an opportunity to properly dedicate our resources for every company we commit to. And we want to start doing that already way before the actual investment. With Klevu, we started dating in the spring and working after the summer. We have been going through the unit economics, digging deep into the markets, discussed a lot about product-market fit and pricing, highlighted importance of an ESG policy and processes, and helped to plan new recruitments. We have invested a lot of time and effort in getting to know the founders and, as a result, built up a strong foundation to start working together.
We have already engaged several people — including multiple partners, especially our own Growth Partner Ari Korhonen — from our team to work intensively with Klevu. For us, it is important to always show our commitment and find the best possible expertise to help our portfolio companies with growth. With Klevu, we feel that there is a significant potential to set a new standard for automized e-commerce for medium-sized companies. We want to help Klevu to empower their customers to create efficient and meaningful shopping experiences to their end users. In our opinion, Klevu has the right technical capabilities in place to create a fully-automised platform and a strong community around it to rapid global scale-up in the upcoming years.
Klevu has the talent and technological foundation to set a new standard for automized e-commerce
Now, the value creation truly begins, and we are more than excited to start working to setting up a new standard of e-commerce. We are committed to search for the long term solutions; with help Klevu search engine, of course!
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