Shopify powers a massive number of e-commerce sites, so it’s also no surprise that there is a vast ecosystem of tools around it that help these merchants manage all aspects of running their stores. Triple Whale, a Columbus, Ohio–based startup, focuses on providing Shopify store owners with a single platform that brings together all of their analytics into a single service to help them improve their conversion numbers and get better insights into their marketing campaigns. Using all of this data, the team is now also starting to build smart, AI-based tools on top of it.
The company today announced that it has raised a $25 million Series B round from NFX and Elephant, with strategic participation from Shopify itself. That’s on top of the company’s 2022 $24 million Series A round (led by Elephant) and its $2.7 million seed round (led by NFX). To raise this much these days, startups have to show considerable traction. The team says it saw 1,400% year-over-year growth, with over 5,000 brands now using its service. The company notes that these brands generated over $14 billion in sales last year.
Triple Whale was co-founded by AJ Orbach (CEO), Ivan Chernykh (CTO) and Maxx Blank (COO). Orbach and Blank, who met as young entrepreneurs in Jerusalem, came into the Shopify ecosystem by running their own brands and stores on the platform, with Chernykh joining them at Triple Whale as their technical co-founder. The idea behind Triple Whale was to take a lot of the processes they used to run their stores and turn them into a product.
“I took the spreadsheets that I was using to track my ad spent and the overall KPIs that I needed to watch, and we took that and we productized it and made it into a mobile app that a lot of people liked,” Orbach explained. “We took a lot of the playbook from what we learned in D2C with influencer marketing and really applied it to a community that we found on Twitter — which was very influential in the D2C space and we used that playbook to get a lot of the traction.”
Just around this time in late 2020, Apple launched iOS 14 and with that, its new privacy features. This meant that many store owners couldn’t rely on the data they were getting from Facebook anymore, so Triple Whale built a new attribution system for them (dubbed Pixel), which is now at the core of its platform.
“The data coming from Facebook was just a mess. There was no way we could make any sense of it. And so we said, we have to build attribution,” explained Blank. “First of all, our clients are suffering because they don’t have visibility, but also, if we want to start building automation, we need to correct data.”
With Pixel, Triple Whale can offer first-party attribution and real-time data for merchants, but what the team is now focused on is building out its automation, machine learning and generative AI-based tooling around that. Some of that is pretty straightforward, like its new rules engine and “AI Timing” feature, which helps merchants automate their media buying, for example.
“We will give you the best time to buy over the week based on your data and then you’ll be able to use our rules engine to, for example, shut the ad off between 12 and 6 at night so you don’t waste money,” Blank explained.
Using generative AI, the team also plans to soon launch new services that will help merchants generate ad copy and images. It’s also soon launching a new tool, Lighthouse, which looks for anomalies (maybe a product is selling significantly faster than usual) and then alerts users and recommends potential actions to capitalize on this.
As the founders noted, the core idea was always to offer a centralized data platform, a layer of visualization on top of that and then automation tools that help users leverage this data to grow their businesses.
The team tells me that many of the brands on its service are currently generating between $1 million and $50 million per year. But with many larger brands now also starting to use its service, the team is also starting to look into how it can best serve these larger customers. The company’s pricing is based on which tools a merchant wants to use, but its full-stack suite currently sells for $400/month, with the dashboard without Pixel attribution costing $100/month.
“Triple Whale has built an excellent marketing analytics platform that equips multi-channel merchants with the marketing insights they need in a fast-evolving online retail landscape,” said Sabrina Frias, corporate development manager at Shopify. “This strategic investment will help scaling merchants better understand the impact of their marketing spend to scale operations. We look forward to seeing what this team can do!”