RELEX Solutions raises €500M, in Blackstone-led funding round


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: RELEX Solutions raises €500M, in Blackstone-led funding round.

RELEX Solutions, provider of unified retail planning solutions, has announced the successful closure of a €500M funding round led by funds managed by Blackstone Growth (BXG), Blackstone’s growth equity investing business. Following the funding round, RELEX Solutions will hire hundreds of developers and experts to grow its technical team that already stands at over 400 people strong.

RELEX Solutions is a profitable hypergrowth company employing over 1,300 people globally. The AI-driven, cloud-based RELEX Living Retail Platform helps retailers and brands reduce waste, costs, and manual work by automating and optimising their demand planning, merchandising, supply chain, and workforce planning.

In times of rapidly changing, fragmented consumer demand, new sales and fulfillment channels, and supply chain disruption, RELEX Solutions helps retailers and brands move fast and find new ways to meet consumer needs while improving operational efficiency and controlling costs.

The RELEX Living Retail Platform helps companies to harness the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of data-driven algorithmic decision-making to achieve their goals. It does this by using AI-driven demand forecasts to automate smarter, data-based decisions across core processes in stores and distribution and fulfilment centers, from allocations and replenishment to planograms and workforce planning. Retailers and brands can rest assured that they can answer customer demand when and where it’s needed.

“Retail and supply chain planning used to be dominated by incumbents and their legacy technologies, but RELEX’s growth into a market leader shows that the industry is ready for a change. We are proud to welcome Blackstone, with their unparalleled experience in the field, on our journey as we redouble our commitment to both technological innovation and our vision for truly unified planning,” said Mikko Kärkkäinen, Group CEO and co-founder of RELEX Solutions. 

“Consumers are changing their behavior and preferences at an unprecedented pace. With the power of smart automation and algorithms, we want to help our customers adapt their offering to their customers’ changing needs – what we call “living retail.” Our customers value technology that enables them to respond quickly to external disruptions and drive rapid innovations in sales and fulfillment channels, product offering, and store formats without missing a beat in their supply chain, merchandising, and operational planning,” Kärkkäinen said. 

“Blackstone has spent significant time in the retail and supply chain planning market and have closely followed RELEX’s growth into a market-leading position. The measurable ROI that RELEX can deliver to their customers in short periods of time and the strength of the customer feedback is what stood out to us the most. With the support of Blackstone’s capital, expertise, and global network we look forward to seeing RELEX cement its position as a market leader and continue to expand the number of products they can offer their customers,” said Paul Morrissey, who leads European investing for Blackstone Growth.

Estimates suggest food waste accounts for 8-10% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, and of the 931 million tonnes of food wasted each year globally, 13% is generated by retailers. With the rise of both regulations and corporate initiatives to reduce waste and drive social, economic, and environmental benefits, RELEX Solutions is a key partner for companies to reach their sustainability goals without sacrificing customer experience. 

RELEX Solutions achieves this by impacting every stage of the supply chain, helping consumer packaged goods companies develop accurate production timelines and ensuring retailers can secure supply in the right amounts in time to meet consumer demand without causing waste. The solution centralises supply chain, space, and workforce data to automatically optimise the flow of goods and use of capacity and resources across the supply chain. As a result, retailers and brands see cost savings, up to a 30% reduction in inventory, and approximately 40% less fresh spoilage, while shoppers see higher availability, more appealing store displays – and fresher food products, reducing the risk of household food waste as well.

“With RELEX, we can better forecast our replenishment needs and goods flow throughout the entire supply chain, from suppliers to stores. The system has given us more versatile and effective methods to ensure daily product availability and optimise stock and waste levels. RELEX has also given us the tools to handle exceptional situations, such as sudden changes in demand or temporary disruptions in the supply chain. And their solutions play an integral role in managing the flow of goods during seasons and bank holidays,” said Tuulia Wennerkoski, Vice President, Supply Chain Management of SOK’s grocery trade.

RELEX Solutions has previously raised over €200M in funding. Today’s announcement is the largest funding round ever raised by a Finnish growth company.

In 2021, RELEX grew its customer base to over 350 clients and almost doubled its software revenue bookings. 

Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, the company has offices in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong. Some of RELEX’s clients include Dollar Tree, M&S Food, Franprix, Morrisons, PetSmart, Sephora, and Rossmann. 

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