Investing in AI to Create Incredible E-Commerce Experiences

Why Lightspeed is leading a $6.9M seed round in Big Sur AI alongside Capital F and all-star angels

Big Sur AI Co-founders (pictured left to right): Arnaud Weber and Vinod Kumar Ramachandran

When the COVID-19 pandemic shifted millions of transactions online, many thought it was the start of a seismic shift in the e-commerce landscape. Surprisingly, shoppers flocked back to retail stores once lockdowns lifted, confirming that e-commerce won’t dominate retail without major changes.

Today, less than 20% of retail transactions occur online, and a small fragment of website traffic converts into purchases. E-commerce experiences leave much to be desired. Endlessly scrolling search grids and wandering through generic websites leave shoppers unsatisfied and confused. Simultaneously, brands are grappling with the challenges of standing out in a crowded digital marketplace, unable to engage with customers in a personal way.

Generative AI presents the opportunity to combine the scale, flexibility, and speed of e-commerce, with the personalized support, and thoughtfulness of a retail store. Imagine thousands of 1-1 meaningful customer interactions occurring at the same time.

Generative AI’s capability to understand and anticipate consumer preferences transforms the online shopping experience from a transactional process to a curated journey. It addresses the user experience gaps, making virtual exploration as satisfying and informed as walking through physical aisles. For brands, it opens doors to innovative strategies for differentiation and customer engagement, helping them carve a distinctive identity in the digital marketplace.

In essence, while the anticipated e-commerce boom during the pandemic may not have materialized as expected, the story is far from over. Generative AI may prompt an inflection in the e-commerce sector.

Big Sur AI is at the forefront of this broader industry change. Their flagship product, the AI Sales Agent, enables enhanced product discovery and personalized shopper assistance on merchant websites. Big Sur AI has already shown that interactions with its product lead to substantially higher conversions (4x+), instantly increasing revenue.

Big Sur AI’s agent integrates with complex systems to simply and effectively leverage AI to increase sales. Merchants can deploy cutting-edge technologies, without the threat of hallucinations or generic, off-brand communication.

Big Sur AI is partnering with prominent brands like Rad Power Bikes and Wyze and is now available to all merchants on Shopify. Our investment in Big Sur AI reflects our conviction in a turning point for e-commerce, as well as our excitement about the company’s lofty vision and incredible team.

When we first met Vinod Kumar Ramachandran and Arnaud Weber, we were blown away by their thoughtfulness and track records. Vinod was the Head of Product for Google Shopping and one of the earliest product managers on Chrome mobile, helping build a product that’s now used by more than a billion consumers. He was also Vice President for consumer products at Affirm, one of the most successful companies in the commerce space. Arnaud led the engineering team that built Chrome mobile, served as Senior Director of Engineering for Android, and led engineering for all consumer and ads products at Twitter.

This incredible team is leading the way toward democratizing access to AI for every merchant, and creating an engaging and effective e-commerce experience. We’re excited to see how they transform this industry!

If your brand needs engaging and informative e-commerce experiences, check out the Big Sur AI website. And if you’re building a company that will transform the future of e-commerce, reach out to us!

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