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Court filings: CommerceIQ to buy assets of Seattle’s Ideoclick as Amazon agencies face tough market


(GeekWire Image)

GeekWire has learned that CommerceIQ, an online ecommerce company based in Silicon Valley which helps retailers increase sales via Amazon and Walmart websites, will be buying assets from Ideoclick, Seattle’s startup.

Ideoclick was a company 13 years old that provides ecommerce services. It went into receivership last Wednesday.

Companies in financial trouble often use receivership. Companies that are in financial trouble often use receivership to protect their assets and run the business.

Turning Point was the trustee and submitted a new document Monday to King County Superior Court. This outline a CommerceIQ plan to pay $475,000 for customer lists acquired from Ideoclick.

A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 10 to approve the deal, which would allow CommerceIQ to retain Ideoclick’s 59 employees and provide services to customers through Nov. 30.

“CommerceIQ has entered into an agreement to purchase certain Ideoclick assets that will help provide continuity of services to Ideoclick customers and maintain the employment of a portion of Ideoclick staff,” a CommerceIQ spokesperson said in a statement to GeekWire. “CommerceIQ is committed to providing Ideoclick customers with the level of service they expect, and to mitigating any disruption as they enter this important season. Customers will now also benefit from the advanced capabilities of CommerceIQ’s retail ecommerce management platform.”

Ideoclick has had a very dramatic weekend in court, according to the most recent court filing.

Turning Point was appointed receiver by the court on October 27. According to court filings, the firm decided that Ideoclick had to stop most of its operations by Oct. 31 due to concerns over making payroll.

Court filings reveal that the company held approximately $5 million cash at Oct. 21, according to court records.

Many employees went on LinkedIn last week in order to tell their colleagues that the company was closing its doors Oct. 31.

CommerceIQ reached out then to Ideoclick on October 28th and expressed an interest in buying customer lists according to court filings.

Two other parties showed interest in acquiring Ideoclick’s assets, but ultimately the receiver entered into an agreement with CommerceIQ. The company agreed to pay $475,000 for Ideoclick’s customer lists and the rights to receive payments to the company for services provided on or after Nov. 1. Ideoclick will be able to continue operations for one more month, and then transition its customers to CommerceIQ.

CommerceIQ will conduct interviews with Ideoclick employees to determine if they are interested in employment opportunities with CommerceIQ.

It’s not clear why Ideoclick elected to go into receivership. Benjamin Winters (CEO of Ideoclick) was available for comments on the filings. We’ll update if we hear back.

office meeting founders 2 2
Justin Leigh (left), and Tom Furphy. (Replenium/Ideoclick Photo)

Winters joined Ideoclick in 2018, after his agency had been acquired by Ideoclick. After Justin Leigh’s departure, Winters was named CEO. He is currently running Workflow Labs, an e-commerce service company.

Leigh and Tom Furphy co-founded Ideoclick together in 2009. Furphy also serves as CEO at Replenium (an auto-replenishing retailer company still in operation). Furphy and Leigh both worked for Amazon previously.

According to PitchBook.com, Ideoclick has raised $13 Million to-date, with a $7M round in 2019.

This year, the company fired 40 workers, which is one-third its total workforce.

Industry watchers we spoke with described Ideoclick as stuck in a difficult position in the competitive market for e-commerce agencies — too small to compete with the big players but too big to be acquired easily.

Amazon vendor companies, which supply Amazon products, also face supply chain and inventory issues. That’s on top of moderating consumer demand that Amazon highlighted last week in its earnings report, driven in part by inflation.

“It’s been a very rough year for Amazon vendors and the agencies, like Ideoclick, who support them,” said Jason Boyce, CEO of Avenue7Media, an agency that works with third-party retailers on Amazon.

CommerceIQ, which was established in 2012, raised a $115million Series D round to increase its valuation of more than $1Billion. Investors include SoftBank, Insight Partners, and Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group, which recently interviewed CommerceIQ CEO Guru Hariharan on its podcast.

CommerceIQ helps over 2,200 consumer brands trade online with 450 retailers around the world in 41 different countries. Whirlpool and Colgate are among the clients.

Ideoclick, one of several Seattle startups, was founded by former Amazon employees. They aim to support online retailers that sell on Amazon. Stackline, SoundCommerce are also part of this group. InsightLeap and Downstream were also acquired over the years.

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