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Exclusive: Monocle raises $7.5M to shepherd tailored promotions

Illustration of three cellphones, each with a "like" icon, in a shopping cart.

Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios

Monocle raised $7.5 million in seed funding to speed up its tailored promotions offering, CEO Noam Szpiro tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: With customer acquisition costs rising, retailers are looking to cut ad spend and optimize areas like promotions and pricing.

What's happening: F2 Venture Capital led the round, and was joined by Tiferes Ventures, irrvrntVC and the founders of Instacart, Everlane, Melio and Chubbies.

  • The company expects the fresh funds to give it at least two to three years of runway, COO Mark Lotman tells Axios.

How it works: Monocle helps consumer brands figure out how to best get promotions in front of consumers.

  • The company uses causal inference, a type of machine learning that attempts to determine the cause and effect of customer behavior, Szpiro says.
  • Monocle tries to understand how much a promotion changes a customer's behaviors and then how much incremental revenue a retailer can gain by giving the incentive to the individual.

Zoom out: Customer acquisition costs have risen 222% in the past eight years from 2022, according to commerce platform SimplicityDX, and this has gotten more difficult given brands have difficulty accurately measuring revenues online.

Zoom in: "We try to understand what is the individual preference in terms of what would get them to make that purchase," Szpiro says.

  • There are a wide range of incentives that could get people to spend, such as offering a percentage or dollar amount off or buy one, get one free or cashback.
  • Monocle would ensure that they're able to get that discount "if that's what would have led them to make that purchase," Szpiro says.

What's next: Monocle already integrates into a retailer's existing tools, such as its Shopify store, its email platform and SMS.

  • The company hopes to extend its offering into other areas, such as direct mail.
  • It could also be applied in fields like inventory and supply chain management, Lotman adds.
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