Woolworths VC fund W23 backs ecommerce startup Longtail UX in $2.25 million raise

- August 14, 2020 2 MIN READ
Longtail UX co-founder and co-CEO Will Santow (left) with W23 MD Ingrid Maes, and his -co-CEO Andreas Dzumla Photo: Dallas Kilponen.
Retail tech startup Longtail UX has raised $2.25 million led by Woolworths Group’s venture capital arm, W23, and Steven Lew’s Global Retail Brands. 

The supplementary equity comes on top of $3 million round in March this year, led by Investec through its Investec Emerging Companies Fund I.

Woolworths is looking at adopting the startup’s technology across its brands.

Longtail UX co-founder and co-CEO, Will Santow, said the Investec raise allowed for a further $1 million from up to two more strategic investors within a 3-4 month period, and interest from both W23 and Lew’s GRB was strong enough that board took the decision to increase the cap to accommodate them both.

“The investment is double what we’d initially allocated,” he said.

“It comes at a time where COVID-19 has created such uncertainty and the belief they showed in our unique technology is an incredible endorsement that we’ve created something truly special  and they feel they can help drive us towards the next stage of our journey.”

Santow and former Googler Andreas Dzumla co-founded Longtail UX in 2013 with a focus on helping online retailers expand their online market share and increase ROI. It plugs into the existing website platform and uses real-time data analytics to expand the website’s functionality and customer acquisition channel capabilities.

Woolworths alcohol brand Dan Murphys, Kogan, Adore Beauty, Booktopia and Graysonline are among 70 clients globally using the technology

Global Retail Brands, which runs homewares retail brands such as House, Baccarat, Bessemer, Your Home Depot, PetHouse, and MyHouse, has introduced the Longtail UX platform to its online presence. 

W23 Managing Director Ingrid Maes said the investment continues the VC fund’s focus on strategic partnerships with startups. Having launched last year, W23 has already invested in Marley Spoon, Sherpa and Eucalyptus.

“Our partnership model will give the team at Longtail UX the freedom to continue doing what they do best, while offering them access to the assets we can bring to the table through the Woolworths Group to help them realise their plans faster,” Maes said. 

“In return, our partnership should help the brands within Woolworths Group differentiate their offer and accelerate their ability to meet the changing needs of customers.”

Longtail UX will use the new funds for its international expansion and delivery of its full self-service platform, as well as enhancing the launch of a new product – LUX Shopping, which it says improves the shopper journey on clients’ websites.

 Co-CEO Andreas Dzumla  said: “This latest investment enables us to help more businesses than ever before expand their website capabilities, personalise customer experiences across major digital marketing channels and connect more new customers with their brand at a predictable ROI.”

The company is headquartered in Sydney, with offices in Seattle, London, Madrid and Nagano.