Black Crow AI raises $25M to predict which products e-commerce customers will buy

Black Crow Ai

Black Crow Ai products

In the pandemic era, when digital storefronts have become a matter of course for retailers, data analytics is proving its worth. Tools that analyze customer data can help better maintain stock, build a supply chain, detect fraud and predict which products might appeal to particular customer segments. Those advantages — as well as their ability to forecast inventory and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns — have driven predictive analytics software revenues to record heights. According to Zion Market Research, the predictive analytics industry made $8.12 billion in 2020 and is set to make over quadruple that — $39.1 billion — by 2028.

A number of vendors compete in the data analytics for the e-commerce space, including DataHawk, which provides tools for sellers that ostensibly help increase sales by optimizing profit margins. Others include Trsel, which is designed to give small brands access to the same kinds of analytics larger online retailers have, and Varos, which aims to shed light on how companies compare to their peers in terms of customer acquisition costs.

Another relatively new company delivering data analytics to retailers is Black Crow AI, which today announced that it raised $25 million in a Series A round led by Imaginary Ventures, with participation from existing investors Primary Venture Partners, Bloomberg Beta, Interlock Partners, and Vast Ventures. With a war chest now exceeding $30 million, CEO Richard Harris says that Black Crow will use the capital to “accelerate the development of new and accessible machine learning use cases in both digital commerce and adjacent verticals” and expand the team across “product, client service, and commercial.”

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“Everyone gets that companies of every size are generating unprecedented volumes of real-time data every day. From their internal operations, their customers, their suppliers, [and] their marketing activities: data. And, if that data can be made sense of with machine learning, companies can literally see into the future of their key KPIs via machine-learned predictions,” Harris told TechCrunch via email. “Black Crow is focused on the unserved middle of the market. The challenges are the same as at the large enterprise level, but the middle market has little-to-no access to the same type of talent, tools, and infrastructure as large enterprise companies.”

New York-based Black Crow was founded in 2020 by Harris and Shehzad Khan — both Travelocity veterans — alongside entrepreneur Damon Tassone. Harris was previously a consultant at Boston Consulting Group before co-founding Site59, which offered last-minute air-and-hotel weekend packages to mostly domestic destinations. Site59 was acquired for $43 million in 2002 by Travelocity, where Harris served as SVP of strategy and distribution prior to Expedia’s purchase of Travelocity in 2015.

Harris also started Intent, a data science company for online travel providers. Khan did stints at startups including Stunable and Rocket Fuel Inc. before working his way up to chief product officer at Intent. As for Tassone, who co-founded Site59 and was the president of EMEA at Travelocity, he was the deputy CEO at travel retailer Last Minute and the president of Intent.

The idea behind Black Crow was creating a platform that could deliver e-commerce-relevant predictions via an API that integrates with existing workflows, tools and software. Black Crow runs on top of retailers’ websites and uses streaming event data in customers’ browsers to train AI models and generate predictions (e.g. which product a customer is likely to buy) while the users are still on the site.


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