New investors e-commerce start-up Billy Grace

The young Dutch company Billy Grace completes its first investment round. Today, it is also launching the software that helps Shopify stores smartly optimize their marketing spend.

After months of testing with several dozen stores and preparation for more than a year, Robin Friend, Tjadi Peeters and Mitch Voskuilen (photo, left to right) the canvas of Billy Grace. Their new company stems from CroudX. That’s their other company, the Netherlands’ first marketing agency that focuses on Shopify.

The new venture focuses on a sub-component of the e-commerce marketing practice on Shopify. Billy Grace is a SaaS service that focuses on cross-channel budget and bidding optimizations. This concerns advertising purchases on digital platforms such as Facebook and Google. In addition, it provides insights and predictions about related matters such as stocks and product prices.

A self-developed robotic process automation process manages budgets and bids across all relevant channels. The underlying analysis system knows the entrepreneur’s goals and adjusts his bidding behavior accordingly. Where a person would bid higher or would drop out sooner, the computer can decide differently on the basis of historical data and current market figures.

Friend: “We have a data-driven attribution model on first party data, which allows the algorithm to make a better estimate of the quality of the advertisements. The algorithm then tells you what is the best budget allocation across all channels.”

In a one-year test period, Billy Grace’s software delivered ROI increases of between 30 and 120 percent for 50 CroudX customers.

In addition to the transaction data from Shopify, the service also loads those from bol.com and Amazon. After that, the SaaS service is only active on Shopify. Expansion towards other suppliers and Agencies is being considered. “Many customers want direct to consumer.”

Billy Grace consists of a team of fourteen men. The technical development started a year and a half ago. The company name is a combination of the two most common names in America at the time of the advent of computers. The founders thus give a human and personal aspect to their software. This highlights the strategy of addressing the need for companies to use easy-to-use AI software that automates complex and repetitive employee tasks. This allows marketers to focus on more other, higher tasks.

The first investors to join in December are Raymond Spanjar and Floris Rost van Tonningen. They once formed the basis of Hyves, a local predecessor of Facebook. Then Robert-Jan Patrick de Laive also stepped out. David Vermeulen and Marc Wesseling in. The entrepreneurs behind Billy Grace think they will hook up with a few strategic private lenders in the coming months.

The parties will not make any statement about the size of these investment rounds and the valuation.

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