Startups

Seattle’s DevHub acquires retail tech startup Brickwork to boost online-to-store experiences

DevHub co-founders Mark Michael, left, and Daniel Rust hold the purchase agreement for Brickwork outside DevHub’s offices in Seattle. (DevHub Photo)

The news: DevHub, the Seattle software-as-a-service startup that is used by more than 179 brands and/or their agencies to build websites and landing pages, has acquired New York-based Brickwork, a retail tech company that powers local consumer experiences for leading brands.

It’s the first acquisition for DevHub, which was founded 14 years ago by Mark Michael and Daniel Rust. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Why it matters: Brickwork was founded in 2013 and its software is used by such global companies as Nike, Chanel, Williams Sonoma, Saks Fifth Avenue and more. The acquisition will strengthen DevHub’s Data Experience Platform for brick-and-mortar, multi-location brands and retailers. The company will add online-to-store conversion actions such as appointment booking and event RSVP to its list of local experience offerings.

DevHub CEO Michael told GeekWire that the acquisition will put what DevHub does front and center. Being “powered by DevHub” will be a different brand relationship than the way its products have traditionally been white labeled.

“We’ve never been able to have a relationship direct with a brand, because it’s always come through a partner channel,” Michael said. “We can now name drop and showcase basically the last 14 years of what we know to be true.”

How it works: DevHub provided an example of the journey an online customer might take via DevHub’s platform:

  • The consumer does a search for “handbags near me.”
  • An organic listing to Chanel’s nearest outlet is in one of the consumer’s top search results.
  • The consumer learns about local store promotions and plans a visit.

In a previous profile in Inc., Brickwork founder David Munczinski talked about “pre-visit experiences” where brands create compelling online content around a local store. This could include announcements of in-store promotions, the ability to book appointments with salespeople, or even identifying the music currently playing. All of it is designed to lure the shopper to visit in person.

“We want to create the definitive platform for leading multi-location brands — beginning with search engine optimization and ending with an in-store or e-commerce transaction,” said Rust, DevHub’s CTO. “DevHub can power the entire retail experience, at scale, with integrations for the leading CRMs and e-commerce platforms.”

Previous acquisition: Brickwork was previously acquired by b8ta, the retail-as-as-service model in which brands pay to place their product in brick-and-mortar b8ta locations. A location that opened in Seattle’s University Village in December 2016 is now closed.

Next moves: DevHub employs 13 people and is excited about the possibility of having a presence in New York City. Michael said word on how many Brickwork employees will be retained would be announced in the coming weeks.

Last word: “It feels like we’re still just getting started,” Michael said of DevHub, which is No. 157 on the GeekWire 200 ranking of Pacific Northwest startups. “I don’t even know if you can call it a startup at this point, but everything with our journey is unique to our journey. I’m grateful because we’re still young, we’re still hungry. I always tell people I am who I am, but I just haven’t done everything that I want to do.”

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