Business

Bristol tech firm acquires French-founded company in major deal

Bristol-based tech firm Bright Pearl has added to its portfolio of e-commerce related services with the acquisition of software business Inventory Planner.

Brightpearl, based in New Bond House on Bond Street, specialises in retail operations solutions for brands including Lovepop, Shopify and Big Green Egg and counts retail giants Amazon, e-Bay and Walmart among its partners.

The software company, which also has a base in Austin, Texas, has announced the purchase of Inventory Planner for an undisclosed sum, a planning tool that enables online retailers to forecast and optimise warehouse stock.

The move will see Inventory Planner running as a separate division of Brightpearl, with the parent company saying it would make a “significant” investment to evolve and enhance the Inventory Planner brand and expand its business.

Inventory Planner was founded in Nice, France, by Oleg Smirnov and Elena Smironva, to help local artisans who had set up online shops to forecast demand for their products, such as pottery.

Since its launch on Shopify in 2012, the platform has grown a customer base of more than 2,000 businesses, primarily in English-speaking countries, with more than half having a gross merchandise value of between $1m (£723,000) and $100m (£72.3m).

Brightpearl said the deal was part of its longer term strategy to become the “top destination” for e-commerce firms looking for technology to streamline their backend operations and support rapid business growth.

Bright Pearl chief executive Derek O’Carroll said: “The last two years have shown the importance of demand forecasting expertise for today’s fast-growing merchants, so we’re delighted to be able to offer this best-in-class solution as an extension of the Brightpearl network.

“We’re also excited about the addition of its experienced and talented team to the wider Brightpearl family.”

Inventory Planner co-founder Oleg Smirnov added: “This evolution of our relationship with Brightpearl will allow Inventory Planner to better serve its current and future clients as we tap into the full potential of our integrated solution and offer a cutting edge demand forecasting technology to the fast-growing merchants.”

The deal comes following a period of sustained growth for Bright Pearl, which assists more than 1,000 businesses across 26 countries with their order management, fulfilment, and warehouse management.

The business won the best Best Business Turnaround prize at the Management Today Business Awards earlier this year, after growing its recurring revenue to £12.3m and average deal size by 500% since 2017.

Brightpearl recently completed a series C funding round, raising £25m, with North East software giant Sage leading the round (£17m).

Inventory Planner is an entirely remote company, with team members residing in the UK, France, the US, Russia, and the Philippines.

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