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From fridge magnets to $2 billion valuation, Utah’s Pattern is crushing it

Melanie Alder and David Wright, co-founders of Pattern, talk about the Kong Box, a gift box of dog toys, at the Pattern office in Lehi on July 3, 2019.
Melanie Alder and David Wright, co-founders of Pattern, talk about the Kong Box, a gift box of dog toys, at the Pattern office in Lehi on July 3, 2019.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

A Utah company that began life selling fridge magnets on Amazon has grown into a global powerhouse and on Wednesday announced a whopping $225 million funding round and a valuation of $2 billion.

Lehi-based Pattern is now an e-commerce accelerator that specializes in partnering with online brands to optimize their marketing and brand presence, and overseeing inventory management and logistics for efficient operations.

Founded in 2013 by Melanie Alder and David Wright, Pattern reports it currently employs more than 900 people, 300 of whom work in Utah, and operates in 18 countries in support of brands that include Panasonic, Nestle, Pandora, Sorel, Black Diamond and Kong. And, Pattern says it is the first Utah tech unicorn (the term for privately held companies that reach a $1 billion valuation) co-founded by a woman.

Wright said the new funding from San Francisco-based firm Knox Lane will help fuel Pattern’s continuing growth in a global market valued at over $6 trillion.

“Pattern has become the go-to e-commerce platform for brands,” Wright said in a statement. “We have a long-standing history of executing for our partners, having retained nearly 100% of our relationships over time.

“As we continue to deepen our technological capabilities and global reach, we are excited to partner with Knox Lane — a firm that understands our vision and culture, and one that brings extensive experience partnering with tech-enabled services companies. We are grateful to have them join our team and are excited to add their deep bench of resources to help drive our long-term success.”

Pattern helps its partner companies, be they well-known global brands or fresh up-and-comers, distinguish their products in an online marketplace that is flooded with competitors.

In a 2019 Deseret News interview, Alder said the tools and technologies developed by Pattern help companies solve this essential challenge of getting seen and heard in an ever-noisier digital marketplace.

“Oftentimes, companies get really good at developing products and the stories that go with them but struggle with grasping the math and science that you need to excel in the e-commerce world,” Alder said. “And sometimes, great products lose out to inferior competitors who are just better with the math.

“At Pattern, we help our partners create a powerful marriage of their products with the best data science and market knowledge.”

And, Pattern says utilizing an e-commerce accelerator “is becoming table stakes for brands that want to compete globally.”

“These companies utilize proprietary technology and services to help brands quickly capture market share, get up and running on the right global marketplaces, expand their D2C sites, enter new digital channels, and tackle logistics and fulfillment,” the company said in a statement.

Knox Lane managing partner John Bailey said Pattern is poised to build on its industry-leading position in the still-expanding realm of online marketplaces.

“As e-commerce and digital marketplaces continue to rapidly evolve, we believe Pattern’s offerings will become increasingly attractive to prospective brand partners as they navigate the dynamic digital commerce landscape,” Bailey said in a statement. “We have strong conviction in Pattern’s comprehensive platform and global capabilities and look forward to working closely with the entire Pattern team to support their ongoing growth and leading global position.”