NIKE, Inc. has acquired Celect, a leading retail predictive analytics and demand sensing firm based in Boston.
Celect is Nike’s latest acquisition fueling its Consumer Direct Offense strategy, serving consumers personally at a global scale. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“With the acquisition of Celect, Nike greatly accelerates our digital advantage by adding a platform developed by world-class data scientists,” said Eric Sprunk, NIKE, Inc. Chief Operating Officer. “As demand for our product grows, we must be insight-driven, data-optimised and hyper-focused on consumer behaviour. This is how we serve consumers more personally at scale.”
Boston-based Celect, founded in 2013, holds a cutting-edge intellectual property portfolio across data science and software engineering. Celect’s cloud-based analytics platform provides proprietary insights that allow retailers to optimise inventory across an omnichannel environment through hyper-local demand predictions.
Celect’s team will immediately be integrated into Nike’s Global Operations Team, and its co-founders will continue as tenured professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, consulting Nike on an ongoing basis.
Celect joins Nike’s three other digital acquisitions – the digital design studio Virgin Mega (2016), Invertex (2018) and Zodiac (2018) – as part of what Nike calls its “consumer direct offensive.”
According to Tech Crunch, Celect raised more than $30 million from investors, including August Capital, NGP Capital and Activant Capital. The company most recently closed a $15 million Series C in December of last year.
“We’re thrilled to be joining the Nike team, adding our unique and innovative capabilities to the data and analytics foundation they’ve been building over the years,” said John Andrews, Celect CEO.
Another expert writes that bringing Celect in-house will help maximise Nike’s supply chain data analytics. “No retailer operates a “simple” supply chain, but Nike’s supply chain is more complicated than most. Nike manufactures its products, which it then sells across the globe through proprietary brick-and-mortar and online channels, as well as through a dizzying variety of third-party retail partners. Third-party channels include dedicated storefronts on retail platforms like Amazon, as well as acting as a wholesaler for numerous physical and digital retailers. Given how many different streams of demand data, Nike has to manage, acquiring Celect as the basis of a truly proprietary forecasting platform makes sense. Nike has some unique fulfilment challenges, and bringing Celect in-house maximises the technology’s fit to them.”
NIKE, Inc., based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world’s leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities.