Aterian, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATER)
Aterian, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATER) is a leading tech-enabled consumer products platform that uses machine learning, natural language processing and data analytics to design, develop, market, and sell products. The company's proprietary AIMEE(R) platform leverages data and AI to automate the design, development and launch of best-selling consumer products.
Aterian owns and operates 12 brands and sells consumer products in multiple categories ranging from kitchenware and home appliances to environmental appliances, beauty products and even consumer electronics.
Founded in 2014, Aterian has offices in the United States, Canada, China and the Philippines. The company is always working to capitalize on the strength of the different cities and time zones in which it operates to ensure continued excellence around the world and achieve its goal of becoming the most consumer-centric product company.
AIMEE(R) (AI Mohawk E-commerce Engine) is Aterian's proprietary platform that leverages data and AI to:
- Identify new market opportunities;
- Launch new products;
- Automate marketing variables; and
- Analyze and optimize company-owned and operated consumer product brands.
The platform's core functionalities include:
- Research: Automated research using live market data that tracks exposure and product trends, allowing for the swift discovery of new market and product opportunities;
- Financials: Places data insights in one place, enabling execution across multiple channels to track new product planning, financial projections, inventory levels, media buying and more;
- Trading: The result of an algorithmic solution that has been optimized for live decisions to scale sales and built to implement automated marketing strategies with learning through experimentation; and
- Logistics: Manages logistics to enable faster delivery of products to consumers.
Aterian's Business Model
Aterian's unique business model is designed to drastically shorten go-to-market time, decreasing the typical 18- to 24-month process to just 6- to 8-months. Using AIMEE(R), Aterian leverages real-time data-driven opportunities and trend tracking to replace the idea focus group research and development of the standard model.
Marketing time is also reduced between the two models using the AIMEE(R) Trading Engine for data-driven automated marketing and product lifetime management. Through the AIMEE(R) trading engine, the traditional 3-month marketing for a standard go-to-market model is cut to a fraction of the time.
The AIMEE(R) Fulfillment Engine allows for dynamic inventory allocation, fulfillment selection, cost optimization, a third-party logistics network and a 2-day shipping period across almost all of the United States. The standard business model doesn't support direct distribution or an FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) structure.
Opportunities for Growth and Profitability
Aterian's plan to drive growth and profitability in the market includes:
- The continued optimization of product economics by lowering manufacturing and logistical costs through an increase in purchasing power
- The pursuit of higher-value products with larger target markets
- Opportunistically adding new products and categories through acquisitions
- Expansion into the international and new domestic e-commerce marketplaces
- Monetization of its proprietary AIMEE(R) platform by providing access to third-party brands
Aterian's long-term goal is to increase its profit margin from 14% in 2020 to 18-20%, using higher average selling prices and lower fulfillment costs as primary drivers. Due to its technology and platform effect, Aterian's corporate overhead is expected to increase at a slower pace than sales. Its fixed operating costs long-term target goal is 5%, which follows the current trend (2019 – 19%, 2020 – 13%). It aims for an adjusted EBITDA of 13-15%.
Yaniv Sarig has been Aterian's President and Chief Executive Officer since September 2018. He is also a co-founder of Aterian, Inc. Mr. Sarig has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Aterian, Inc. since June 2014. Before his role at Aterian, he led the Financial Services Engineering department at Coverity, a software startup providing code and security solutions to top financial institutions and hedge funds in New York to include the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, JPMorgan Chase and Barclays. Before his Coverity role, Mr. Sarig held lead technical roles at Bloomberg and EPIQ Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: EPIQ). He holds a Bachelor of Science from Touro College. He is fluent in English, French, Hebrew and C++.
Fabrice Hamaide has been the Chief Financial Officer of Aterian since September 2018. He has also retained the position of Chief Financial Officer for Aterian, Inc. since July 2017. Before Aterian, Mr. Hamaide held numerous financial, CFO and presidential roles in various technological and consumer product companies across Europe and the United States, including Piksel Inc., Atari, Parrot and Logitech. Mr. Hamaide holds an impressive set of credentials, including an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MS in Information Systems Design from Sorbonne University, and a BS in Applied Mathematics from Jussieu University.
Mihal Chaouat-Fix has been the Chief Product Officer for Aterian since September 2018. Prior to taking this role within the company, she was the Chief Operating Officer, handling the day-to-day leadership and operational management of Aterian. Before joining Aterian, Ms. Chaouat-Fix worked in various roles at Gottex Models Ltd. At this international fashion swimwear firm, her focus on marketing, operations and manufacturing saw supply chain and distribution of 12 million units per year to over 40 countries worldwide.
Tomer Pascal has been the Chief Revenue Officer for Aterian since 2018. He has also served as the Chief Revenue Officer for Aterian Group Inc. since 2017. Before he joined the Aterian team, he was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of OMG Studios. Throughout his career, Mr. Pascal has held many different co-founder and general management roles, focusing on companies' marketing and revenue growth in the media and technology industries.
Roi Zahut has held the role of Chief Technology Officer for Aterian since 2019. Before Aterian, he served in numerous roles, including CTO of the Advanced Analytics global consulting team at IBM and architect of IBM Metropulse. While in Israel, Mr. Zahut held several senior technical, business and data science roles in startups and consulting to include IBM Israel, Brainbow Ltd. and Matrix IT Ltd. He holds an MSc in Neuroscience with distinction from Bar Ilan University.