Cooped up at home during Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions, many of us turned to online shopping for relief and enjoyment. And e-commerce retailers and product software services companies consequently felt the positive effects of our increased spend. Desk Space member Particular Audience is one such company. While you were online shopping, Particular Audience, which provides personalisation and merchandise optimisation software for online retailers, was tripling its revenue, expanding globally, doubling its headcount and adding more software products to its bow.
James Taylor founded Particular Audience in late 2017. The B2B software as a service company uses AI technology to personalise and customise retailers’ products for an improved customer experience. “As the web grows, with more products and users, we filter out the noise and show people what’s relevant to them,” James says.
Today James has a team approaching 40 people and offices in Sydney, London and Vancouver. He kicked employee growth in mid-2019, recruiting graduates from England for the Sydney office, and arming them with the knowledge and skills to go back and establish the London office. These two offices have since grown to 24 people, and a newly opened office in Vancouver is supported by a team of five growing to 9 in 2021.
Particular Audience is an incredibly talented team of business development and product and engineering specialists that includes alumni from Google, IKEA, Woolworths, DoorDash, Rokt and even a Stanford Fulbright Scholar that had relocated to Sydney. “They believe in the potential and vision of what we are building, to personalise the breadth of the internet” says James. Together the team has accrued a client base across eight countries, and evolved and expanded the product offering, with ancillary opportunities arising from its flywheel – the product graph technology at the core of PA’s platform.
“Our product allowed retailers to personalise their websites using various machine-learning technologies. Retailers still want to have control over merchandise – how they place and promote products – so we’ve started to merge AI with human input. Influencing the AI with the business goals of the client has created a really unique place in the market for us,” James explains.
In 2021, Particular Audience will launch a retail media platform too – a bidding terminal that allows suppliers to allocate budget for advertising exposure to in-market consumers, closing the gap between brand experience and retail journeys.
The biggest news perhaps is the launch of their first consumer product, www.similarinc.com which uses the core technologies powering PA’s B2B offering for use by consumers as they shop online. “It’s like a recommendation engine on steroids, with the scale of the whole internet.” James says. Whereas the B2B software is localised to retailers’ websites, ‘Similar’ is internet scale. It pre-empts search intent and presents results in one readily available window, making it easy for users to compare and contrast relevant information in real time.
So, while you were online shopping during lockdown, Particular Audience was working hard to create a better experience, making it easier for you to buy with confidence online. And looking at the boom in ECommerce, didn’t you enjoy it!