Our team at Dundee VC prides itself as operators who can empathize and partner with founders rather than just invest. If there is one space where that operational knowledge runs deepest, it’s e-commerce, which is why we are incredibly excited to be investing in AddStructure. AddStructure is solving a persistent problem in e-commerce (and search, more generally): delivering relevant product results for contextual search queries. Mark faced this problem at Hayneedle and large and small e-commerce retailers have this problem acutely.
Search, both broadly-speaking and within a retailer’s e-commerce experience, has largely devolved into keywords we know will deliver the most relevant results. Consumers up to now have accepted filtering, sliding, swiping, and starting over to find the product they are looking for. As we transact more online, we are starting to demand more from our online shopping experiences and it is clear “conversational commerce” is where e-commerce is headed. A fast-moving voice adoption curve, powered not by Siri but by Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, has accelerated this demand as seamless shopping will become a key centerpiece of the in-home voice devices and retailers have to be able to serve up relevant product results to compete.
AddStructure’s natural language processing core allows major retailers to compete with Amazon as voice and conversational commerce become a core strategic focus across industries. We first met co-founders Jarrod Wolf and Will Underwood at Target’s Techstars Retail accelerator and were immediately taken back to our own team’s experience trying to solve this challenging problem. Context, strings of text and voice inputs are complex, and tying that back to a lengthy product catalog not just in terms of fixed product characteristics (e.g. dimensions, resolution, inputs/outputs for electronics, or ingredients for grocery) but also in terms of less discrete and even subjective characteristics (bright, great sound, healthy, or “best”), has proven incredibly challenging for everyone, including retailers.
As we demand more from our online shopping experiences with every passing day, AddStructure helps retailers compete with the quickly changing methods – voice – and smooth experiences online shoppers expect. We are incredibly excited to work with Jarrod, Will, and the whole team at AddStructure to power the future of conversational commerce.