Stories of Impact: RELEX Solutions lands 176 million euros in funding from TCV
RELEX Solutions was founded in 2005 and provides end-to-end retail planning solutions that allow for accurate forecasting and replenishment, localised assortments, profitable use of space, and optimised workforce planning. In 2015, RELEX received a Phase1 50 000€ grant from the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot SME Instrument followed by a Phase2 grant of 1.4 million euros in 2016.
Recently, the company secured a 176 million euros funding round from TCV, which purchased a minority stake in the company. This is the 3rd largest investment in Enterprise Software in the last 12 months in Europe and the number 31 globally.
We talked to Markus Pettinen, RELEX Solutions CFO, who highlighted how the EU grants helped the company grow: “Thanks to Phase 1 and Phase 2 of our Horizon 2020 projects, we were able to further develop our software for the food retail sector and thus increase retailers’ efficiencies and reduce spoilage across their supply chains. Phase 2 helped us accelerate the development of our machine learning and AI capabilities, and make them an even stronger building block of our platform.”
In fact, between 2016 and 2017, after receiving the Phase 2 grant, RELEX Solutions hired 123 new employees, which represents a 62% increase of staff. This allowed the company to support the commercialization of several new features and scale up its sales organisation more efficiently.
Markus Pettinen agrees the EIC pilot SME Instrument due diligence is highly appreciated by investors, and that innovative business outlook is what characterises the company as well. “Our former main investor (Summit Partners) and new investors (TCV) both appreciate our innovative business outlook. They see great value in our culture of constantly developing ourselves, whether it’s about our products, as we did during the Horizon 2020 projects or our organisation in general.”
Although securing an investor coming from the US, Markus Pettinen is clear “We’re looking to grow our market share in North America significantly and have based our office in Atlanta. However, our headquarters will remain in Helsinki, Finland, and we will continue to grow our customer base considerably also in Europe.”.
The company wants to use this funding to continue to fuel their growth, by accelerating their product development ambitions, further expand their retail-specific machine learning and AI capabilities and invest further in developing and growing their organisation.
When asked to advise other companies in the SME Instrument portfolio, Markus Pettinen is clear “It’s key to understand the market and have a feasible plan for commercialisation; this combined with well-structured project plans, companies can reap the benefits of these projects even years after they’ve ended.”
Since 2014, EIC pilot SME Instrument companies have attracted 2.2 billion euros in private equity investments post-grant.
View RELEX Solutions's information on the EIC SME Instrument data hub.