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Nike has announced that it has acquired Celect, a Boston-area startup, to improve its predictive analytics strengths and boost its direct-to-consumer sales.
One of the world’s most valuable brands, Nike was founded by William Jay Bowerman and Philip H. Knight in 1964, today the retail giant is valued at $224 billion. Celect was established in 2013 by Boston’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors, who sought out to deliver data insights from a mix of structured and unstructured retail data. In December last year, Celect closed a $15 million Series C round. August Capital, Activant Capital, and NGP Capital were among investors.
Celect will be integrated into Nike’s global operations team. Alongside consulting the teams at Nike, the founders will continue to pursue their teaching careers.
Nike’s growth strategy has involved a digital direction since its acquisition of New York-based Virgin Mega in 2016. A digital design studio, Virgin Mega helped to develop Nike’s SNKRS mobile application. Two years later, the sports retailer added computer-vision firm Invertex and data analytics company Zodiac Inc. in an attempt to further capitalize on their digital transformation mission.
“As demand for our product grows, we must be insight-driven, data-optimized and hyper-focused on consumer behavior. This is how we serve consumers more personally at scale,” said Nike COO Eric Sprunk. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.