Zycada: Improving Online Shopping with Bots
August 10, 2021 | Nick Schofield
When you’re shopping online, you want a simple, cohesive experience. Any issues with pages loading or crashing make consumers frustrated and less likely to continue using that ecommerce retailer. This is reflected in the numbers, too. Research by Amazon and others suggests even 100 milliseconds of increased load time reduces revenue by 1%. But these websites are complex and limited by their infrastructure. How do you make sure pages load quickly in a vast content delivery network?
Alumni Ventures portfolio company Zycada Networks is using bot technology to solve this problem. Their zero-code solution empowers dynamic consumer websites, using bots that map and predict the most common paths users take in browsing web pages. Leveraging this data, the company’s state-of-the-art technology assists clients’ content delivery networks in speeding up websites. The results are impressive; Zycada delivers 10-40X faster load times for ecommerce sites.
A Powerful Ecommerce Solution
Zycada offers its bot technology as a SaaS solution across 11 distinct categories, including:
- Accelerated Web Experience
- Enhanced (Secured) Web Experience
- Revenue Acceleration
- Video/Image Optimization
The company offers its bots on a monthly and annual basis, with list prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to ~$5M a year. They are also testing out a freemium model, where potential customers can use select bots for free.
Zycada has already demonstrated impressive traction. This is in part due to their targeting and acquisition of A-list ecommerce brands, which include Walmart, Red Bull, Brother, Harman, and Zappos. In fact, Zappos’s interest in using bots to speed up the shopping experience on their website helped push Zycada transition its products and services to their current offering.
What We Like About Zycada
Strawberry Creek Ventures (Alumni Ventures’ fund for the UC Berkeley community) invested in Zycada’s $10M Series A-1 in 2020 led by Khosla Ventures.
There’s a lot to like about Zycada. Though they only launched their product earlier this year, their sales pipeline is full of recognizable names beyond their current marquee customers. This strong growth is coupled with an established investor syndicate. Besides Khosla, Sierra Ventures and Cervin Ventures are participating — all showing strong conviction by exercising super pro-rata rights.
We are also impressed by the team. CEO James Brear has a successful track record in the SaaS space. He previously helmed Veriflow, which was sold to VMWare in August 2019. James also oversaw Procera Networks until its successful acquisition by Francisco Partners in August 2015. While at Procera, James grew annual revenues in excess of 1100% in less than six years.
The demand for Zycada’s service is growing rapidly. Shoppers expect a consistent, high-performance experience across platforms. With outdated infrastructure that’s reactive and only optimized for static content, ecommerce brands need to better empower their content delivery networks. With the global e-commerce market over $9T in 2019 and anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 14.7% from 2020 to 2027, the opportunity for Zycada is massive.