Curious about how Clerk.io got started? 👀 In this post, the founder and CEO of Clerk.io, Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard, will bring you along on his journey of founding and developing the world's #1 rated e-commerce personalization platform.
Hans-Kristian will be answering these questions one-by-one 🎤:
How did Hans-Kristian get interested in e-commerce?
How did he get the idea for Clerk.io?
How was the company founded and how has it evolved over time?
Now, let’s dive in!
How did you get interested in E-commerce?
Hans-Kristian: As my very first student job, I worked at Unisport, an online football retailer. There was a small (e-commerce) team at that time. I think I was hired as the number 4 or 5 in the e-commerce team.
I worked at Unisport for 5 years and worked really closely with the CEO. I worked as a technical guy who got the website running. We saw how the company grew through those 5 years. I really saw the challenges you got when running an online company and especially growing it internationally.
How did you get the idea for Clerk.io?
Hans-Kristian: While at UniSport, I actually came across a recommendation engine. We bought one, and I was so fascinated by the fact that you could actually predict stuff from data 🤩. But also, it was hard to use. This was 10 or 15 years ago, so it was hard to use, and it only yielded good results for 2% or 3% of our product catalog. For the remaining 98% of our product catalog, we still had to implement manual rules. 🙁
So, for me, it was fascinating that you could use this technology. But I thought to myself that I could do this better. This could be done better. 💡
How did the company get started?
Hans-Kristian: Basically, it started out as a purely technical challenge to myself. It was just something I did in my spare time. I was just trying to figure out how I could solve this problem for Unisport.
Then, I actually worked on that until I solved it 👨💻 🙌. And I realized that I had something really unique. I solved not only problems for Unisport but some fundamental problems for many other online retailers with the algorithms I developed 🎉.
I wrote Filip at Unisport, their CEO at the time, and I said: "I might have a solution for this problem that you're struggling with." We tested it out, using the split test against the old system. My system beat the old one with around 140 % higher in added revenue for recommendations 💪. Then, of course, the firm wanted to buy it. So, that is why I had to go home and create a company.
How did Clerk.io evolve?
Hans-Kristian: Suddenly, I had a company 🏢. There was no plan for Clerk to be this big company that is today. I've just had something that worked, and I created a company. It was just basically taken from there. I thought to myself: “Ok, who's the next customer? Who's the next person I know that’ll need our technologies?” Then, I just took it step-by-step, and slowly we grew 📈.
In the beginning, we took it really slowly to perfect everything. It was around 2014 when we really have perfected what we created. That’s also when we started hiring people, really growing, and expanding to external markets. It's just been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work from there😀😎. But I think that's really the core of Clerk: The way we have grown and the reason why this company is as what it’s now. Actually, it didn't start with a business plan. Instead, it started with the product that solved the problem 🔑.
How many customers does Clerk have now?
Hans-Kristian: Oh, we have a couple of 1000. So that is a bit more than the one we started with 😉🥳.
If you want to hear more about how Clerk's cutting-edge AI technologies can help you grow your e-commerce businesses, check out some of our recent success stories 🏆: