The market has been privy to whispers about the potential return of Catch.com.au founders Gabi and Hezi Leibovich to the drivers seat of the business following a worsening track record of declining performance of the site under Wesfarmers’ (ASX: WES) management.
Since acquiring the flourishing retail giant in 2019, Wesfarmers have seen Catch lose $46 million in FY21, and $44 million in the first half of FY22. The conglomerate maintained that the losses could be attributed to increased investment in Catch’s human resources, technology and marketing.
And years post acquisition, it seems that Wesfarmers is intent on continuing this ‘investment’, with the appointment of Invigor Group (ASX: IVO) to supply Catch with a Pricing Insight Solution across all categories.
The B2B data intelligence company will help Catch capture an initial revenue range of $600-$650k over the next three years. Catch will have access to all data gleaned from Invigor’s insight tech. The tech will help Catch offer competitive pricing on products, whilst maximising profits.
“We are extremely pleased to be the chosen pricing insights provider to Catch,” said Rohan Dhowan, Invigor’s CEO. “Over the last couple of months our data has been pressure tested by the team at Catch and we are delighted to help them deliver the best value to their customers. Reliable, accurate and timely data is a major factor in how brands and retailers are driving decisions and we see this as a growing trend.”
The outsourcing of data intelligence to a $4 million company is interesting, especially given the news earlier this year that Catch was set to join Wesfarmers’ digital division called Wesfarmers OneDigital.
Competitor Woolworths (ASX: WOW) has brought their data analytics in-house, having last year taken a controlling interest in data science company Quantium for $233 million. Quantium’s Woolworth-dedicated business, named Q-Retail was integrated into the Woolworths Group after Quantium had already been providing the supermarket giant with data analytics services which had proven essential for the retailer’s growth.
The Invigor deal has investors wondering if this is a hail mary for Catch and Wesfarmers as Woolworths gains on them in the eTail space.
Woolworths secured a majority stake in online retailer MyDeal (ASX:MYD) last month for $243 million, a 63% premium.