Seel raises $17 million to employ AI to improve customer product returns

Many e-commerce businesses continue to struggle with product returns. Amazon, for example, forged partnerships with Kohl’s and Stein Mart for in-person returns, while PayPal acquired returns provider Happy Returns.

According to co-founder Zack Peng, Seel, which specializes in underwriting e-commerce returns, is harnessing artificial intelligence to construct proprietary underwriting software that examines hundreds of signals to forecast the probability of return as soon as an order is placed.

 “Merchants typically won’t know their true revenue until the return window expires six to eight weeks after an order is sold. That means they often have to reconcile refunds, correct financials, and adjust marketing plans for orders sold weeks ago. Instead, they can pay a variable return assurance fee when an order is sold, and instantly lock in the net revenue and streamline a significant amount of revenue operations.”

Zack Peng, co-founder, Seel

Seel has been active for two years, and although its private beta only began five months ago, Peng claims that the firm has close to 200 merchants utilizing its software, ranging from boutiques to marketplaces. He also mentioned that 20% of customers add assurance to their orders, corresponding to a 5% conversion increase for merchants.

With $17 million in Series A funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, it is launching its Shopify app. Foundation Capital, Afore Capital, and West Loop Ventures are existing investors.

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