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Exclusive: Big Sur AI raises $6.9M to reach Shopify merchants

Mar 13, 2024
Illustration of hundred dollar bills on cell phones spread out.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Big Sur AI, an AI-based e-commerce sales company, raised a $6.9 million seed, the company tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Merchants want to ensure they're spending their marketing dollars wisely to drive traffic and online conversion rates.

Zoom in: Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, with participation from Capital F and several angel investors.

How it works: Big Sur aims to go beyond an AI-powered chatbot, chief technology officer Arnaud Weber says.

  • Leveraging user information and content from user conversations, Big Sur aims to deliver shoppers real-time, tailored customer service — while helping retailers convert carts to sales.
  • Its existing customers include electric-bike company Rad Power Bikes And smart home camera company Wyze.

Zoom out: As retailers prioritize profitability, they're seeking tools that can improve ad performance.

  • "At the end of the day, it's more revenue for them," says Weber.
  • Customers need guidance on their websites, just like they may need guidance at a store, he says.
  • "We believe that AI will substantially transform these experiences ... as if you're talking to a really knowledgeable, smart, helpful sales associate at a physical store," CEO Vinod Ramachandran says.

The latest: The company launched an AI Sales Agent, which will be available to all Shopify merchants.

  • The tool is designed to help online shoppers discover products more easily, with the sales agent tailored to each merchant, Ramachandran adds.
  • Shoppers that have interacted with the sales agent have shown to convert at a rate 4x and greater than the average, the company says.
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