Nike sees a star in Zodiac, Wharton prof's shopping predictor

Zodiac Inc., a consumer-data analytics firm with offices in Philadelphia and New York, has been acquired by Nike Inc., Nike said March 22 in a statement here.

Zodiac, formerly known as CLV Metrics (for Customer Lifetime Value), provides estimates of future spending by customers who buy from women’s retailers.

It is uncertain what Nike will do with the firm’s New York and Philadelphia offices, Nike spokesman Greg Rossiter told me. Nor was a purchase price disclosed.

Zodiac’s predictive-spending platform had been picked up by a string of brands. But Nike has chosen to scrap those relationships and keep the app for itself, writes Roberto Torres at Technical.ly Philly: “The 13-person team developed a technology platform that shows companies how much a customer will spend in the future, based on research done by co-founder Peter Fader, a professor at the University of  Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business,” he noted, citing Fader. “Following the acquisition, the company terminated its relationship with all clients — a list that has included ModCloth, American Apparel and Dressbarn — and will offer its services solely to Nike as a standalone division.”

In 2016, Zodiac raised $3 million from investors led by FirstRound Capital, a venture capital firm whose founders include Josh Kopelman, who is board chair of  the Philadelphia Media Network, which publishes the Inquirer/Daily News and philly.com. Other investors included Metamorphic Ventures, Felicis Ventures, and Western Technology Investment.

“Nike’s incredible connection with consumers and its global scale Nike’s global customer base makes it “a perfect home,” Zodiac CEO Artem Mariychin said in a statement posted by FirstRound. “We are excited to become part of Nike to help power the Consumer Direct Offense across the world.”