May 4, 2015 Last Updated 4:26 pm

Digital ‘circulars’ company Retale gets $12 million in new funding from Axel Springer SE

In the US, Axel Springer made previous investments in Ozy and Airbnb, and most recently in Business Insider

The Chicago-based digital circular company Retale has received 12 million in new funding from Axel Springer SE. The start-up, founded in October 2013, has more than 120 employees now, based in both Chicago and Berlin.

retale-logo“With their impressive media and publishing pedigree, Axel Springer is one of the rare investors to truly understand both the digital and traditional space<” said Retale’s CEO Christian Gaiser. “This is evidenced by the way they’ve transformed their business in just a few years, from 0 to 70% digital share. This expertise benefits us, as we continue to enable retailers to transform their most important advertising tool – the print circular which reflects a $17 billion market – for the mobile age.”

Retail has apps for both Android and iOS, with its iPhone app recently updated to add Apple Watch support.

Here is the funding announcement:

CHICAGO, Ill. – May 4, 2015Retale, a location-based mobile platform connecting more than 3.5 million shoppers with their favorite major retailers locally, today announced it has secured $12 million in funding from its existing investor base among which Axel Springer SE, the leading digital publisher in Europe, holds the largest stake. The funding for Retale is part of an overall $18 million shareholder investment in Group (, Retale’s parent company and an international leader in web and mobile advertising solutions for retail. Axel Springer’s investment is part of its already announced plan, made in March 2015, to further invest in the international expansion of Group, most notably in the U.S.

Retale-screen-3“In the U.S., retail circulars are a staple of the print media industry,” said Christian Gaiser, Chief Executive Officer of Group. “However, as mobile adoption continues to flourish, consumers are increasingly migrating to digital channels for in-store deals and discounts. Retale is at the forefront of this evolution, enabling retailers to navigate new digital terrain, and we feel strongly about the potential for future growth.”

“Axel Springer’s investment in Retale underlines the extraordinary growth potential of the category, as well as our unique ability to facilitate it through our own platform,” said Pat Dermody, President of Retale. “Circulars are increasingly consumed digitally and the support will enable our business to scale as needed to accommodate the demand we are seeing from consumers and retailers alike.”

Retale replicates the print circular experience in a digital format, providing shoppers with access to in-store deals and promotions through the Retale website and mobile app. All information is location-based, making it possible for shoppers to find the right deal at a store nearby. For retailers, Retale provides new opportunities to reach circular readers who are migrating from print-to-digital, as well as a new generation of shoppers who are more likely to shop in-store while using smartphones or tablets to support them.

As the demand for digital circulars and mobile adoption continue to grow in tandem, Retale has experienced impressive growth since its October 2013 launch, with more than 3.5 million users in just over a year. To meet the demand for circulars through its platform, Retale has grown its retail partners by more than 664 percent, representing over 130 of the country’s largest retailers, including JCPenney, Kohl’s, Target and Toys“R”Us. In a recent study, nearly 75 percent of smartphone users claimed to have viewed a retail circular in the past 30 days, with 50 percent of those doing so on a mobile device. The findings confirm a strong and rapid digital migration path for the traditionally print-based retail cornerstone.

Source: Axel Springer

  • Larry Grimes 3 years ago

    Where’s the tech and interactivity? These are just well produced pdf style versions. How about a feature that allows users to actually buy the product. The mote around this business is small. They better come up with the better mousetrap.