Software January 22, 2021
We first met Tony Olson, CEO of SPINS, in 2014, when he and his team were operating out of their small headquarters in Schaumberg, IL, where they had been building the company since 1995. We had been following the company for some time as we saw its data and applications serve as the analytics foundations for an increasing number of the most exciting and innovative CPG brands in the natural, organic, and specialty product categories, including fellow Stripes partner companies Califia and Siete Foods. In addition to the clear commercial traction, as evidenced by the strong growth and profitability profile Tony had achieved while bootstrapping the business, we were struck by the sense of purpose Tony brought to the mission of helping the healthiest, most high-quality CPG products make their way on to consumers’ shelves – it was clear this was the engine powering the entire enterprise. Given these factors, it was clear that Tony had no shortage of options when it came to investors, so we were beyond excited when the opportunity to forge a partnership emerged nearly 2 years later (after many meetings over beers in Chicago). We jumped at the chance to join the team as their sole institutional investor and have been thrilled to be on the journey ever since.
After many years of relentless focus on building high quality software and forging valuable industry relationships, SPINS data has emerged as the common language for the category.
At Stripes, we have been investing in best-in-class products across software, data and consumer since our inception, and SPINS is the rare company that sits at the intersection of all three. Like our investments in Flatiron Health (healthcare), GWI (market research) and Fullstory (digital experience), Tony and the SPINS team have fundamentally changed the paradigm of how data is collected and used in their respective industry – retail and CPG – one of the largest markets in the world. After many years of relentless focus on building high quality software and forging valuable industry relationships, SPINS data has emerged as the common language for the category. All market participants from the brands and retailers to distributors, investors and service providers use SPINS to make better, more data driven business decisions. The four years of our partnership to date have been filled with exciting new developments, as SPINS has expanded its offerings into the Pet category as well as internationally, more than doubled the size of their team and moved their headquarters to an amazing and inspiring space in the heart of Chicago to serve as home base from which to continue pursuing their vision.
Like with all enduring companies, new chapters in SPINS’ story continue to be written, and as we turn the page on one chapter, we excitedly open another. We are very happy to welcome our new investment partners Warburg Pincus, General Atlantic and Georgian Partners, as well as re-affirm our support and commitment to the growth of the company as it continues to expand its offering of best-in-class applications and data to customers around the world. We couldn’t be prouder to support Tony and the entire SPINS team in their mission of getting the healthiest, highest quality products to the consumers that want and need them, and can’t wait to see what they have in store in the years to come.