In the latest exit by a Canadian tech company, Askuity has been acquired by The Home Depot.
Askuity’s Toronto-based team will remain in the city and work out of their current offices. The acquisition took place in mid-December and capped off a strong year of growth for Askuity. Terms of the overall deal were not disclosed, but due to Home Depot’s status as a publicly-traded company, it is likely the exact details will be shared when Home Depot’s 2018 Q4 earnings are released in mid-February.
“Askuity had chosen strategically to focus on home improvement as a target vertical with a view to building credibility and a critical mass of vendor customers. Based on our success, we developed a relationship with The Home Depot which led to a partnership and the ultimately to the acquisition,” says Eric Green, founder and CEO of Askuity. “The acquisition will enable Askuity to accelerate the product roadmap and scale the team to drive value for all of The Home Depot’s vendors.”
As a leading retail sales platform, Askuity worked to empower different vendors and brands to better analyze consumption data from sources such as POS and inventory. In terms of why this acquisition makes sense, Askuity was already working with many of Home Depot’s largest vendors and had established themselves as a leader in the space when it comes to home improvement brands. Askuity has even published an ebook called “The Ultimate Guide to Selling at The Home Depot.” Askuity specializes in retailers that have huge inventories spread across multiple stores, and can even factor in qualitative data that might tell a deeper story than pure purchase numbers.
Prior to the acquisition, Askuity was working with large brands such as Bosch and Philips. In the future, Askuity will only be working with brands affiliated by or represented at The Home Depot.
The Home Depot has seen strong online sales numbers over the past years, including growth rates over 25 per cent for each of the last two quarters. The home improvement company has made a handful of acquisitions over the last few years, including Compact Power Equipment for $265 million in 2017 and Interline Brands for $1.6 billion in 2015. Currently, The Home Depot has a market cap of $202 billion.
Coming in at number seven on the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500, The Home Depot has made a very deliberate push to excel in the online retail space. Close to 50 per cent of the company’s online orders are picked up in store, and The Home Depot is also investing $1.2 billion into a supply chain upgrade dubbed the One Home Depot Supply Chain initiative. Askuity will be able to play into this investment by helping their new parent company better track sales at store level, providing deeper insights into trends with their machine-learning enabled insights platform.
Askuity last raised funding in late 2017 when they picked up a $3 million round, which itself was a follow-on to a $2 million Series A the company raised in 2016. Investors in those rounds include dunnhumby and the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund. At the time of the last raise, Green said his clients referred to Askuity as the “best-kept secret” in retail.