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Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Bryan Mahoney, CEO and Co-Founder of Chord Commerce, an e-commerce data platform that has raised $40 Million in funding. 

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • From PowerPoint Hackers to E-commerce Pioneers: Bryan’s entrepreneurial journey began in university, where a side project turned into a venture that led him deep into the world of e-commerce, setting the stage for his future endeavors.
  • Transition to Glossier and the Rise of Direct-to-Consumer Brands: Bryan recounts his transition from running an agency to joining Glossier, highlighting the brand’s emphasis on technology and direct engagement with customers, which influenced his perspective on the e-commerce space.
  • Foundation of Chord Commerce: The inception of Chord Commerce was a pivot from a broader ambition to create a new type of CPG company, focusing instead on leveraging technology to empower other e-commerce operators with sophisticated data tools.
  • The Evolution of Chord’s Offering: Initially a full commerce platform, Chord has honed its focus to become a commerce data platform, partnering rather than competing with established e-commerce infrastructure providers like Shopify and Salesforce.
  • Marketing Philosophy in B2B Ecommerce: Chord’s approach to branding and marketing reflects a blend of enterprise-grade sophistication and the approachability of direct-to-consumer brands, aiming to resonate with e-commerce operators who value both robust technology and compelling brand experiences.
  • Future of E-commerce: Bryan shares his vision for the future of e-commerce as an increasingly experiential and omnipresent aspect of consumer life, emphasizing the importance of first-party data and personalized customer experiences across all touchpoints.



Leverage Early Experiences to Inform Future Ventures:

Bryan’s journey from offering PowerPoint enhancements to founding a cutting-edge e-commerce data platform illustrates the value of drawing on early entrepreneurial experiences. For tech founders, every past project, no matter how small, can contribute valuable insights to future ventures.

The Power of Strategic Pivots: Chord Commerce’s

evolution from a broader e-commerce ambition to a focused data platform underscores the importance of strategic pivots. Founders should remain flexible, and willing to refine or change their business model based on market feedback, internal capabilities, and emerging opportunities.

Build Technology with Operator Insights:

Developing a platform or product with firsthand experience of the pain points it addresses can significantly enhance its market fit and value proposition. Founders should incorporate their own operational struggles and successes into the design and functionality of their solutions.

Marketing Is as Important as the Product:

Chord’s branding strategy, developed in partnership with renowned creative agencies, demonstrates that how a B2B product is presented can significantly impact its reception. Founders should invest in branding that resonates with their target market’s aspirations and values, bridging the gap between enterprise-grade functionality and consumer-brand approachability.

Future-Proof Your Business by Focusing on Data:

Bryan’s vision for e-commerce, where data plays a central role in creating personalized customer experiences, highlights the increasing importance of first-party data management. Founders should prioritize building or integrating robust data analysis capabilities to stay competitive in an evolving digital landscape.

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