The New Stuff

Akeneo grabs $13 million for its CRM of products

French startup Akeneo just raised a $13 million Series B round led by Partech Ventures with existing investor Alven Capital also participating. Akeneo is a product information management (PIM) service to manage all information about your products in your stores, online and in your good old paper catalogs.

At heart Akeneo is an open source PIM application — 40,000 people downloaded Akeneo so far. Everybody can grab it for free and implement it for their own company. You feed it data from Excel spreadsheets or your ERP, then you can manage and enrich this data in Akeneo. Finally, all this data remains accurate across all your communication channels — your website, your stores, your catalog or anything really.

This way, you can collaborate on the same catalog of products and reuse this information everywhere. In addition to the open source backbone, Akeneo has built an enterprise version for premium clients. It has additional features and support.

“Since 2014, we have worked with a little bit more than 120 clients around the world,” co-founder and CEO Frédéric de Gombert told me. Clients include distribution groups like Auchan, Cora, Leclerc and Carrefour, clothing companies like Pimkie or Adidas, big companies like Samsung and many more.

Before Akeneo, many of those companies were working with big IT giants like SAP to implement cumbersome catalog management software. Moving to Akeneo is the equivalent of moving to a modern CRM, but for your products.

On average, those 120 clients pay around $37,600 per year (€35,000). Most clients still run Akeneo on their own servers, but the company just launched a cloud-hosted version so that you don’t have to manage anything, not even the infrastructure.

And so far, nobody has looked back — it’s quite hard to switch from one PIM solution to another, so Akeneo doesn’t have any churn issue. The company now has 70 employees — most of them are in Nantes, but the company also has two tiny offices in Germany and Boston.

“The PIM market is like the CRM market, but 15 years behind. Every company — it could be a brand or a distributor — has two important assets: their clients and their products,” Frédéric de Gombert said. “Little by little, people are realizing that you need to build a great product experience if you want to build a great customer experience. And it’s true for everybody.”

According to Frédéric de Gombert, PIM services could become as big as the biggest CRM solutions. So let’s see if Akeneo is building the Salesforce of products.

Recently Published


TechCrunch Tel Aviv Pitch-Off: Here are your startups and judges!

 On June 28 in Tel Aviv, we’re hosting the TechCrunch ...


VC Justin Caldbeck raised funding in email to accuser ahead of scandal breaking

 TechCrunch has reviewed an email allegedly sent by VC Justin ...


Houzz raises a huge $400M round at a $4B valuation

 If you ask investors in Silicon Valley about Houzz — an ...


Binary Capital reportedly delays closing new fund amid controversy

 In the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and the ...


Headstart wants to better analyze candidates to fit them with the best jobs

Nicholas Shekerdemian has a pretty typical startup story: he dropped ...


Relevnt launches a publisher-centric news app

Florida startup Relevnt is experimenting with a new ...


5 burning questions Blue Apron’s IPO is about to answer

Blue Apron will be going public in short order, kicking off the ...


Not a minimalist? Startups will gladly store, manage and deliver your items

If our civilization collapses and archaeologists return centuries ...


Andrew Ng announces, his new venture after leaving Baidu

Andrew Ng, the former chief scientist of Baidu, announced his next ...