Powering Personalisation: Why We Invested in Ninetailed

Published on
October 27, 2022
Chandar Lal
Powering Personalisation: Why We Invested in Ninetailed

Selling online is tough. Whether you’re offering products or services, B2C or B2B, success fundamentally depends on attracting potential customers, and then converting their attention into revenue. At the centre of this is the question of relevance: how do you serve the right content to the right user at the right time? 

Site personalisation is not a new idea. Back in 1998, Jeff Bezos made a prescient remark to the Washington Post: “If we have 4.5 million customers, we shouldn’t have one store. We should have 4.5 million stores.”

In the intervening two decades, personalisation has become increasingly widespread. Sophisticated brands want to engage with their customers at a granular level. We think this trend has only just begun – not least because it poses a tough architectural question. How do you deliver bespoke user journeys at scale, to a potentially huge set of audiences and personas, in real time and without performance trade-offs? 

This is the problem that Andy, Alex and Michael have set out to solve with Ninetailed: the API-first solution for site personalisation and experimentation in the composable era. With their decades of experience in the industry and a clear vision on the future of site architecture, we could not imagine a stronger founding trio. 

We believe that Ninetailed will dramatically lower the barrier to personalisation – in turn unlocking new revenue for digital businesses of all kinds, from e-commerce through SaaS. 

Why now?

As businesses’ needs have evolved, so too have site architectures – from monolithic to headless (or more broadly composable) approaches. The idea is that by decoupling backend data sources from frontends, businesses can deliver tailored journeys more nimbly. 

But personalisation can be hard to achieve in a headless context. Custom integrations need to be built across many “best-of-breed” systems: headless CMSs; commerce platforms; CDPs; CRMs; PIMs; analytics suites; custom data warehouses; and others. 

An acute pain point has emerged. Ninetailed solves it with the market-leading MACH-first solution that enables anyone to bring data from disparate systems together; and then from that unified view: personalise, test, and optimise their digital customer experience.

What comes next?

The long-term vision is still more exciting. Today, bespoke user journeys are typically rules-based and manually crafted, and even then only by a small fraction of online businesses. In the longer term, companies will increasingly use ML-driven methods to craft audiences more precisely (narrowing from a high-level user persona to the individual). As this happens, we will see a dramatically higher volume of bespoke personalised experiences, served up at the edge – and Ninetailed will be core infrastructure for this. 

It’s a privilege to be supporting the Ninetailed team, along with our friends at Cherry Ventures and an extremely strong group of existing investors. We’re excited by the role that Ninetailed will play in powering the digital economy, and we look forward to building an enduring business together.