Commerce-as-a-Service Leader Chord Raises $18M & Acquires Yaguara

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Chord, a commerce-as-a-service software company today announced that it has raised $18M in Series A investment funding led by Eclipse Ventures, as well as its acquisition of innovative business intelligence platform, Yaguara. Chord offers technology and data products that give all D2C companies, regardless of the size of their balance sheets, the ability to enhance their businesses by building on cutting-edge headless commerce technology and having access to meaningful first-party data. Eclipse joins a strong roster of existing institutional investors including Foundation Capital, WhiteStar Capital, Forerunner Ventures, Index Ventures, and Thrive Capital, as well as angel investors from the commerce world, most notably Will Gaybrick of Stripe, and the founders of well-known D2C brands such as Allbirds, Harry’s, and Warby Parker.

Prior to its Series A, Chord was formerly known as Arfa, a commerce platform creating the next generation of D2C brands. Realizing how powerful its commerce technology and data platform could be for the D2C industry at large, the company is now focused exclusively on selling its technology and data products. To enhance its offering, Arfa acquired Yaguara and, following the acquisition, rebranded to Chord.

Today, Chord combines the most headless commerce stack available with a powerful data component to offer what it calls commerce-as-a-service. Chord gives D2C entrepreneurs and operators access to substantial competitive and performance advantages to help them in an increasingly crowded landscape without the need to invest millions of dollars building tech and data teams. The recent funding will go towards developing more technology and data products to help entrepreneurs, as well as to support company growth.

Chord’s co-founders, CEO Bryan Mahoney and Chairman & COO Henry Davis, were former Glossier executives and D2C founders who witnessed first-hand the challenges entrepreneurs faced launching brands into an increasingly competitive market. They developed Chord to help entrepreneurs avoid the heavy and disproportionately expensive technical lift required to create unique customer experiences, the challenges of accessing and using proprietary data, and the ever-increasing cost of customer acquisition and retention.

Chord offers a highly cost-effective way to move to headless commerce technology, which gives fast-growing D2C brands unrivaled page speed and flexibility to deliver truly differentiated customer experiences. By building directly on a platform that integrates with third-party products via APIs, D2C companies can also future-proof their technology. Meanwhile, Chord’s unique integrated data tools give entrepreneurs meaningful and easy access to increasingly valuable proprietary first-party data insights so they can truly understand their customers and respond to them.

“We firmly believe that the future of commerce is a combination of a pioneering approach to headless commerce and a robust integrated data component,” says Bryan Mahoney, CEO at Chord. “We are thrilled about Chord’s momentum and the opportunity to provide brands with customized digital-customer experiences and deep customer insights across any channel – and in any region – at the lowest possible cost of ownership. This acquisition and rebrand is just the beginning of building the foundation for commerce-as-a-service for mid-market and emerging brands.”

Henry Davis, Chairman and COO at Chord says, “We are about to see the re-platforming of the entire commerce industry. There will be many more brands serving more people in new and exciting ways. They need technology to empower them, not to create structural roadblocks that inhibit their creativity. We are excited to offer these brands best-in-class tech and data tools that have hitherto been available only to the richest of companies,” says Davis. “A new generation of D2C companies is looking to stand out in a sea of blandness. We offer them the tech and data tools to ensure they can, while allowing them to focus on what they do best – building products and brands, not tech and data.”

Given Chord’s belief that access to proprietary data insights is fundamental to the success of D2C brands in today’s crowded market, the company is also pleased to announce Leslie Lorenz, Former Director of Data and Analytics at Lululemon, is joining the company as Vice President of Data.

“The opportunity at hand is to own the API-first platform for the multi-trillion-dollar, global e-commerce market,” said Matt Mulvey, Partner at Eclipse Ventures. “Brands large and small are aggressively building out their online strategy to attract more customers, especially as the shift toward digital commerce continues. In order to compete long term, brands need access to data that will help them create unique and personalized customer experiences across devices and channels.”

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