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|Articles - March 2012|
|Friday, March 02, 2012|
BY LINDA BAKER
Amazon.com makes about $19,000 a minute on product recommendations: personalized suggestions that direct customers to products they might covet in addition to what they intended to buy. Now a Portland company is democratizing product recommendation services by developing faster, cheaper solutions accessible to midsize retailers. Launched in 2009, 4-Tell (“foretell”) creates software that functions like “a really good salesperson at the store,” says CEO Ken Levy, who, along with co-founder Ken Lofgren, came up with the concept after entering a Netflix competition to improve movie rental recommendations. Existing recommendation services typically take three months to integrate into a retailer’s website, with contracts of about $50,000 annually. By contrast, 4-Tell’s software takes only a few hours to integrate, and the company bills monthly, starting at $49, says Levy. The automated service also updates constantly “based on all past behaviors of shoppers, your past behavior, and what you’re doing at this moment.” A virtual company, 4-Tell employs seven full-time workers in Portland, the Gorge and Southern California. Gross revenues clocked in just under $1 million last year, and many of the company’s 100 customers, which include Columbia Sportswear, report sales increases of 10% to 25% after using the recommendation service. “At the end of day, we’re providing value to our customers,” Levy says. “That’s what’s exhilarating.”
Software for retailers
4-Tell has raised more than $1 million from 19 angel investors, including two online marketing professors from the Wharton School of Business; Keiretsu Forum, a national angel investment network; and Bruce Davis, CEO of Beaverton-based Digimarc, where CEO Ken Levy worked as senior director of technology and market development from 2000-2004. It was awarded $120,000 from the Gorge Angel Investors Network competition and $25,000 from the Portland Seed Fund.
Levy aims to grow 4-Tell into a “major force” in five years, with $80 million in annual revenue and 150 employees. The e-commerce platform-provider market is consolidating, he says. “So it’s likely we’ll be acquired.”
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Will community banks survive the digital age? Three CEOs peer into banking's crystal ball.
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Don’t just sit there. For a healthy workplace, move up and down — and all around.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Power lunching at the Court Street Dairy Lunch in Salem.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY OB STAFF
New events series brings magazine to life.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER
How the private sector can ride the next transit revolution.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The Portland in Perspective study, done by the City Budget Office, was released Tuesday.
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