CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
The company serves such retailers as Sears, Diapers.com and Brooks Brothers.
Digital design and development firm Fluid Inc., which helps retailers improve their e-commerce, mobile and social offerings, this week said it has raised $24 million from Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Fluid will use the capital to expand it software-as-as-service merchandising technology and also grow in other areas—the company expects to hired 200 employees over the next two years for such areas as marketing, customer support and research and development.
“We have a proven track record of driving digital innovation for leading retailers and their customers,” says Kent Deverell, CEO of Fluid. “We are thrilled to be engaging with Goldman Sachs in this transaction. They bring an incredibly broad and strategic perspective to our company and will be an invaluable partner as we seek to transform the digital retail landscape.”
Founded in 1999, Fluid serves such retailers as Sears Holdings Corp., No. 7 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide; Diapers.com (No. 72), Soap.com, Wag.com, Casa.com—all of which operate as part of Amazon.com Inc. subsidiary Quidsi; and Brooks Brothers (No. 162). Late last year, Fluid helped to design a men’s fashion site, Cladmen.com, that was launched by Esquire magazine and J.C. Penney Co. Inc., No. 20 in the Top 500 Guide. The retail chain has since announced the closure of the site.
“Fluid knows how to connect with consumers and retailers,” says Gaurav Bhandari, managing director at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. “This investment will enable Fluid to continue to enhance its digital commerce products and services, while helping retailers stay on the cutting edge of meeting consumers’ ever-changing demands.”
ThinkEquity LLC was Fluid’s exclusive financial advisor for in this transaction.