Vision and Innovation in the Retail Supply Chain

February 6, 2019
Company Profiles
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Today’s retail landscape is incredibly complex and increasingly competitive. Retailers and suppliers face a massive challenge of managing increasing numbers of physical SKUs in multiple locations with differing seasonal sales patterns, physical sizes, profitability and roles in assortment – all while ecommerce challengers continue to take market share. We believe an optimized supply chain can make all the difference between success and failure.

At Summit, we’ve been watching the evolution of retail, supply chain and related technologies for more than three decades. When we first met RELEX – a pioneer in unified online and offline retail planning – we quickly recognized three key qualities that positioned the company to effectively and successfully address retailers’ pain points:

Talented leadership with deep subject matter expertise
RELEX founders Mikko Kärkkäinen, Johanna Småros and Michael Falck met at the Helsinki University of Technology where their research focused on SCM theory and included groundbreaking work in planning and forecasting collaboration and supply chain efficacy. In 2005, the three founded RELEX with a vision to offer a more integrated, automated approach to managing retail supply chains. The team is passionate about putting this extensive background to use – and serving as a true partner in solving retailers’ most complex challenges.

Differentiated technology that delivers meaningful customer ROI
At the time of Summit’s 2015 investment, RELEX was one of the very few disruptive vendors leveraging leading-edge technologies to quickly process huge volumes of data to drive better real-time outcomes, enabling retailers to plan better, sell more and waste less. RELEX has continued to innovate, expanding its machine learning and AI capabilities to complement the core data processing platform. RELEX has consistently maintained a focus on delivering customer value. RELEX solutions are cloud-based and easy to implement, helping customers to achieve a clear and demonstrable ROI very quickly.

Customer-centric, dynamic culture
Helsinki, Finland boasts a vibrant start-up ecosystem and a “can-do” culture where entrepreneurs share a mutual respect for each other and their customers. Many of these attributes helped form the foundation for RELEX’s customer-centric culture. While RELEX has grown to more than 500 employees worldwide, the team has remained true to a set of articulated core values that treat customers and colleagues as friends and focuses the entire organization on providing measurable value.

RELEX’s expertise, innovative technology and customer-centric culture have made the company a trusted partner to retailers, wholesalers and suppliers worldwide. We were proud to be RELEX’s first institutional investor in 2015, and we have enjoyed working closely with the entire team during a period of impressive growth and expansion. RELEX now operates on the ground in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Norway, Sweden, France, Spain, Denmark and Italy, and has established channel partnerships in Asia and South Africa.

Today, RELEX announced a significant new milestone: $200 million in new financing that will continue to fuel the company’s mission of helping retailers achieve a more accurate and responsive unified planning process. We congratulate Mikko, Johanna, Michael and the entire RELEX team on this news, and we are thrilled to continue our partnership through the next stage of growth.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn

Founded in 1984, Summit Partners is a global alternative investment firm that is currently managing more than $14 billion in capital dedicated to growth equity, fixed income and public equity opportunities. Summit invests across growth sectors of the economy and has invested in more than 475 companies in healthcare & life sciences, technology and other growth industries. For more information, including a complete list of companies, visit

In the United States of America, Summit Partners operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Summit Partners LLP, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Summit Partners LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC388179 and its registered office is at 11–12 St. James’s Square, London, SW1Y 4LB, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Summit Partners’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.

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