Athletic apparel giant Nike continues to expand its digital platforms with the latest acquisition of data analytics startup Celect for an undisclosed fee as the brand continues to fuel its direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategy.

Celect marks Nike’s second data analytics acquisition, having purchased customer analytics startup Zodiac Metrics last year and digital design studio Virgin Mega in 2016. Celect will now be integrated into Nike’s global operations team, and its founders will serve as consultants.

“With the acquisition of Celect, Nike greatly accelerates our digital advantage by adding a platform developed by world-class data scientists,” said Eric Sprunk, CEO of Nike Inc. 

“As demand for our product grows, we must be insight-driven, data optimised and hyper-focused on consumer behaviour. This is how we serve consumers more personally at scale.” Sprunk added.

Celect, founded in 2013, holds a cutting-edge intellectual property portfolio across data science and software engineering. Celect’s cloud-based analytics platform provides proprietary insights that allow retailers to optimise inventory across an omnichannel environment through hyper-local demand predictions.

“We’re thrilled to be joining the Nike team, adding our unique and innovative capabilities to the data and analytics foundation they’ve been building over the years,” commented John Andrews, CEO of Celect.

This announcement is another step from Nike as it continues to shift its growth strategy from buying brands to acquiring tech companies in order to strengthen its design and data analysis. More importantly, it is also a step forward for the brand as it looks to increase DTC sales among a variety of distribution channels, including its website and mobile app. 

This strategy also gives insights on consumer demand as the tech-driven drop strategy of selling limited-edition items has become more popular among apparel makers. This strategy works well in targeting loyal consumers who like novelty items, as stated in Marketing Dive.