Nike buys startup Celect in predictive analytics drive

Nike has purchased Celect, a Boston-based predictive analytics startup for an undisclosed sum.

Celect will immediately be integrated into Nike’s global operations team, who will begin work integrating its predictive analytics technology into the sportswear giant’s mobile apps and website.

Using Celect’s technology, Nike will be able to predict which styles of footwear customers want, when they want it and where they want to buy them.

Nike’s chief operating officer Eric Sprunk told CNBC that the retailer chose to acquire the startup, founded in 2013, instead of “spending two to three years” trying to develop the technology themselves.

“Our goal is to serve consumers more personally at scale,” Sprunk added.

“We have to anticipate demand. We don’t have six months to do it. We have 30 minutes.”

READ MORE: Nike’s retail tech investment drives 35% digital revenue growth

“It’s really difficult work … predicting the retail shopping patterns and behavior. … This (acquisition) gets us much more accelerated.”

This comes as Nike continues to shift away from buying up brands and towards purchasing tech start ups such as Invertex in April.

Invertex is largely credited with creating the Nike Fit app, which lets users use their smartphones to accurately measure their foot size, which launched in May.

For the fiscal year 2019 the sportswear giant reported revenues of $39.1 billion, up 7.5 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

Its stellar growth was largely due to the runaway success of its digital operations, which are understood to have accounted for a significant chunk of the $1 billion investment it made throughout the year.

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