December 3, 2020

Turn challenges into opportunities and double down on them

By Evli Growth Partners
TIER and Klevu announce significant funding rounds: TIER raises $250M Series C from Softbank, and Klevu $12M funding round from Alfvén & Didrikson

Heading to 2020, both TIER and Klevu had a solid plan for execution. Treasuries were full from the previous funding rounds raised on Q4 of 2019, and both companies had ambitious growth targets for the upcoming year. Yet, like for all of us, everything changed overnight in March when the world entered lockdowns. People didn’t move in cities anymore and all businesses – including mid-market e-commerce merchants – suffered.

Led by great entrepreneurs, both companies reacted immediately. True to its mission, TIER strived to support paralysed cities and, in particular, their critical members to enable safe movement amidst the pandemic for those who couldn’t afford to stay home. Klevu, instead, saw the need to empower the new generation of retailers even further. This would only happen by ensuring the best shopping experience for any consumer with the retailers of 2020’s: SMB-led e-commerce companies.

After the immediate shock, both TIER and Klevu has doubled down for these opportunities. TIER has rolled out mopeds and embedded helmets in e-scooters to become the first service provider globally to offer the required variety and security for the vast scale of urban mobility needs. In addition, the company is testing an innovative battery solution in Tampere, Finland, to increase sustainability and effectiveness of their service. We have been happy to help the team to secure market leadership and build a viable testing ground for new innovations here in Finland.

Klevu has redefined their ambitious development plan for cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning innovation to create the leading toolkit for any retailer in the current market environment. We have actively supported Nilay, Niraj, and the team through board work to steer their efforts to the right direction. The most intelligent search solution is already supported by smart category navigation, and a comprehensive product suite will be launched in months to come.

Given the vast opportunities in front of both companies, it was a natural decision to stack up additional resources to maintain the maximum speed of execution. We are thrilled to continue supporting TIER and welcome Softbank on our exciting ride of changing mobility for good with one of the youngest European unicorns ever. For Klevu, Alfvén & Didrikson is a solid partner with tremendous expertise from scaling similar businesses. We are excited to join the round with them and continue working with the team to define the new standard of e-commerce!

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