At H20, we had a recent conversation with an ecommercebrand who complained about not being able to fullyunderstand why her clients weren’t returning. Her teamdidn’t have the in-house capabilities to deep dive into thecustomer persona to understand what were the wants andneeds of each customer type. For months, her marketingteam blasted users with email and SMS marketingcampaigns calling for them to purchase any and everyproduct in stock without any significant result. Thousands ofdollars were spent on Facebook and Instagram ads withoutany change in sales levels. As the company began toresearch solutions to increase revenue growth, they realized there were only a few options on the table: (i) Hire a team ofgrowth hackers; but this was impossible due to limitedresources. (ii) Use an existing solution such as Klaviyo; butagain, this was not feasible because of the lack of technicalexpertise to use the tool. Or (iii) continue with the statusquo.
We soon realized that this problem was not unique to thisbrand but was a perennial nightmare for millions of small-and medium-sized ecommerce brands that operate globally.These businesses are struggling to reach new customerswhile also facing the herculean task of retaining buyers in anever-increasing competitive consumer advertising market.
At H20, we decided to invest in Aument because theirsolution directly solves this problem faced by millions ofSME e-commerce companies. Moreover, this was not just aLatin American problem, but one that has global implicationswith very few companies trying to solve it.
For additional context, Aument is a marketing automationtoolbox that helps e-commerce brands increase sales. Theirplatform enables small and medium-sized brands tocommunicate with its customers like big companies, withthe same level of sophistication and personalizationcapabilities, but with one tool, no extra hires, and a simplerset-up. Their audience segmentation informs tools that storeowners can simply activate to increase retention, recoverabandoned carts, holiday market and reduce amount of timebetween repeat purchases, and they’re adding new featuresevery 20 days.
Aument does this using a two-step framework where it firstautomatically analyzes customer data to segmentcustomers and create customer profiles. It then allowsecommerce customers to send specific marketingcampaigns (email, SMS, social media, SEO) depending onthe type of customer and the type of action required. Essentially it is a tool that replicates what growthmarketers do for large companies butautomatically, with a single click of a button.
When analyzing the opportunity, we spoke with several SMEe-commerce brands who identified with the problem that Aument is solving and we ultimately decided to back thecompany in January 2022 alongside investors such as Expa,Matterscale, Newtopia, the founders of Sendgrid (marketingcommunication tool sold to Twilio) and Francisco Alvarez-Demalde (founder of Riverwood Capital). Below is asummary of several aspects of the investment thesis:
- Market Opportunity:
Ecommerce is growing globally,and the average ecommerce company is not able to hiregrowth hackers. They spend on ads without understandingcustomer segmentation and the right tactics. The need forSMEs to better understand how and where to market to theircustomers is important to differentiate them in anincreasingly crowded e-commerce market.
- Fragmented Market:
The largest player focused onmarketing automation has less than 1% of the addressablemarket. At the same time, neither large scale LATAM playersnor new global entrants have emerged over the past fewyears.
- Strong Technical Team with Marketing GrowthExperience:
The Aument founders have worked on theproblem for several years during their previous roles,hacking growth for leading global startups / scaleups andhave led highly technical teams. They know what it takes tobuild a world-class product and have demonstrated this intheir previous leadership roles. As such, founder-product fitwas undoubtedly achieved.
- Global Trends of Ecommerce Enablers:
In manymarkets, the first layer of enabling e-commerce is unlockingfinancial and logistical capabilities so that consumers havethe ability to afford the product and secondly so that theproduct can easily be shipped from point A to B. E-commerce 2.0 is focused on e-commerce software toincrease productivity; this includes marketing automation.We believe that Aument is building for e-commerce whatCleverTap (backed by Sequoia and Tiger Global) has built formobile apps and, if successful, can dominate a multi-billion-dollar opportunity.
For these reasons, we are excited to partner with Emilio DiMarco, Alan Helouani, Sacha Landesmann, and Mario Leon Rojas to power e-commerce companies’ growth into the future.