The sales solution

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2012
Friday, March 02, 2012

BY LINDA BAKER

0312_Launch_4Tell
Ken Levy, CEO of 4-Tell
// Photo by Alexandra Shyshkina

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.”

COMPANY:
4-Tell
PRODUCT:
Software for retailers
CEO:
Ken Levy
HEADQUARTERS:
Portland
LAUNCHED:
2009

MONEY TRAIL
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.

WHAT'S NEXT
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.”
 

More Articles

5 questions for Flywheel CEO Rakesh Mathur

The Latest
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
FW splashBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland is awash in rideshare options. We ask the head of Flywheel what sets his app apart.


Read more...

Foundations perspective

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Martha Richards, executive director of the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation.


Read more...

The Good Hacker

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY CHRIS HIGGINS

As digital security breaches skyrocket, a cybersleuth everyman takes center stage.


Read more...

The Road to Reinvention

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.


Read more...

Short Shrift:The threat of just-in-time scheduling

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Companies can benefit when they use software to meet staffing requirements and address employees' family and life commitments.


Read more...

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
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. 


Read more...

Celestial Eats

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER AND EILEEN GARVIN

A power lunch at Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS