Helsinki-based RELEX Solutions, a company that provides an integrated retail and supply chain planning system for customers, announced on Thursday that it has raised €500M in a fresh round of funding. With this round, the company is now valued at €5B. Prior to this, RELEX raised over €200M in funding.
The company also claims that the current funding round is the largest ever raised by a Finnish growth company.
The round was led by funds managed by Blackstone Growth (BXG), Blackstone’s growth equity investing business.
Paul Morrissey, who leads European investing for Blackstone Growth, says, “The measurable ROI that RELEX can deliver to their customers in short periods of time and the strength of the customer feedback is what stood out to us the most. With the support of Blackstone’s capital, expertise, and global network we look forward to seeing RELEX cement its position as a market leader and continue to expand the number of products they can offer their customers.”
RELEX Solutions claims that the funds will enable them to hire hundreds of developers and experts to grow its technical team, which currently has over 400 people.
Mikko Kärkkäinen, co-founder of RELEX Solutions, says, “Retail and supply chain planning used to be dominated by incumbents and their legacy technologies, but RELEX’s growth into a market leader shows that the industry is ready for a change. We are proud to welcome Blackstone, with their experience in the field, on our journey as we redouble our commitment to both technological innovation and our vision for truly unified planning.”
“Optimising retail for every future”
Founded in 2005 by Mikko Karkkainen, Johanna Smaros and Michael Falck, RELEX Solutions’ data-driven software automates and optimises supply chain, merchandising, and operational decisions for retailers and consumer packaged goods companies.
Mikko Kärkkäinen says, “Consumers are changing their behaviour and preferences at an unprecedented pace. With the power of smart automation and algorithms, we want to help our customers adapt their offering to their customers’ changing needs – what we call ‘living retail.’ Our customers value technology that enables them to respond quickly to external disruptions and drive rapid innovations in sales and fulfilment channels, product offering, and store formats without missing a beat in their supply chain, merchandising, and operational planning.”
The company’s Living Retail platform delivers AI across all retail functions and at retail scale, eradicating siloes, rigidities and inefficiencies along the way. The company claims the platform also helps companies to harness the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of data-driven algorithmic decision-making to achieve their goals.
This is done by using AI-driven demand forecasts to automate smarter, data-based decisions across core processes in stores and distribution and fulfilment centres, from allocations and replenishment to planograms and workforce planning.
RELEX Solutions claims to be a profitable hyper-growth company that employs over 1,300 people. The company has offices in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong. It has over 350+ customers including Dollar Tree, M&S Food, Franprix, Morrisons, PetSmart, Sephora, and Rossmann, among others.
Can RELEX Solutions help reach sustainability goals?
Currently, estimated food waste accounts for 8-10 per cent of all global greenhouse gas emissions, and of the 931 million tonnes of food wasted each year globally, 13 per cent is generated by retailers. And with the rise of regulations and corporate initiatives to reduce waste and drive social, economic, and environmental benefits, RELEX Solutions says it can help companies reach their sustainability goals without sacrificing customer experience.
RELEX Solutions achieves this by impacting every stage of the supply chain. It helps consumer packaged goods companies develop accurate production timelines and ensures retailers secure supply in the right amounts in time to meet consumer demand without causing waste.
The solution centralises supply chain, space, and workforce data to automatically optimise the flow of goods, and use of capacity and resources across the supply chain. This helps retailers and brands see cost savings, up to a 30 per cent reduction in inventory, and nearly 40 per cent less fresh spoilage, says the company. Shoppers see higher availability, more appealing store displays – and fresher food products, reducing the risk of household food waste as well.