Nike Acquires Company Founded by Indian MIT Professors


Fremont, CA: Athletic apparel giant Nike has snapped up Celect, Boston-based predictive analytics, and demand-sensing firm. Celect marks Nike's second analytics acquisition, following its 2018 purchase of customer analytics startup Zodiac Metrics. 

Nike has emphasized the latest acquisition as a way to shore up its direct-to-consumer strategy. The Acquisition of Celect also dovetails with Nike's long-term aspiration to ensure its digital presence in the market.

 Nike's Consumer Direct Offense strategy intends to enhance the pace of the production with personalization at scale. Nike also wants to have its eye on selling direct and owning the customer relationship, given the economic challenges in the retail industry.

 With the integration of Celect's technology into the mobile applications and website of Nike, the latter will have a better insight into the customers' likes and dislikes.

 Commenting on the move, Eric Sprunk, the Chief Operating Officer at Nike said, "With the acquisition of Celect, Nike greatly accelerates our digital advantage by adding a platform developed by world-class data scientists."

 He further added, "As demand for our product grows, we must be insight-driven, data-optimized and hyper-focused on consumer behavior. This is how we serve consumers more personally at scale."

 Founded by two Indian professors Vivek Farias and Devavrat Shah in 2013, and led by John Andrews, CEO, Celect extends a cloud-based analytics platform that provides proprietary glimpses to the retailers. 

Celect, which raised $15 million from a bunch of investors last year, came out of MIT — both of the company’s co-founders were professors there. This unique platform enables retailers to leverage inventory across an omnichannel environment through hyper-local demand predictions. 

Celect's team will immediately join Nike's Global Operations Team, and its co-founders will continue as tenured professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, consulting Nike on an ongoing basis, as part of the deal.

 "We are thrilled to be joining the Nike team, adding our unique and innovative capabilities to the data and analytics foundation they've been building over the years," said John Andrews, CEO, Celect.

 There is a paradigm shift in Nike's development strategy as it had shifted its focus from buying brands to acquiring tech companies to bolster its design and data analysis and the recent acquisition considered to be a part of that.

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