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Understanding what online shoppers *really* want

Made With Intent's LLM tech helps retailers target smarter

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We’ve got another ‘just funded’ startup for you today, as we introduce you to martech A.I. outfit Made With Intent, which has just raised £1.5 million.

More on that below, but first:

  • Accelerator Baltic Ventures has opened applications for its 2024 cohort.

  • Also, Praetura Ventures has opened applications for its ‘not-an-accelerator’, cohort-based investment programme for pre-seed startups in the North of England, Praeseed

  • Symbe, a London-based startup that uses A.I. to automate the creation of business cases, has announced it has raised a £1.2 million pre-seed round led by Concept Ventures alongside Pact VC, Notion Capital, and Nodes Ventures.

– Martin

PS: We had a flood of new subscribers yesterday so a special hello if this is your first edition. If you like it, why not spread the word? 👇

This issue of PreSeed Now is brought to you by EHE Ventures.

Known for backing high-growth tech, EHE just announced they're building a £15m AI tech fund, and have finalised their core Fund Advisory team. The fund itself seeks to support and accelerate the growth of AI technologies, empowering the brightest minds in tech at pre-seed, seed and Series A.

Learn more about their mission and the fund here

Made With Intent understands what online shoppers really want

Made With Intent founder David Mannheim

In summary:

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Ecommerce is based so much around data that it can seem like everything you could possibly do to maximise sales must have already be available on the market.

But Made With Intent believes that’s not true. This startup has built a platform designed to monitor ecommerce site visitors’ buying intent, live as they browse the site. 

With this data, retailers can do things like dynamically change their websites to suit the intent of individual users.

Founder David Mannheim compares this to how salespeople will adjust their face-to-face sales pitch based on what they know about a customer. 

How it works

Mannheim says the product monitors more than 250 different intent signals, such as how fast you scroll, what you click on, and the sequence of things you click on.

“We then take all that interaction data and put it in a large language model,” He explains. 

The Manchester-based startup’s LLM is trained, he says, on over a billion events from over 50 different ecommerce sites that signed up for the Made With Intent beta. And if there’s one thing LLMs are fundamentally good at, it’s pattern matching.

“That helps us understand how likely the user is to either buy, add to  cart, abandon, or to exit, or to return back to the site. That information can give you a vast amount of power to be more appropriate in how you sell.”

Made With Intent also offers a dashboard that helps its users understand the intent makeup of their visitors, so they can understand things like how many high-intent users they attract.

Made With Intent’s dashboard of user intent data

The startup offers a demo site, which gives you an idea of how the product can measure your intent based on your interactions with a mockup store.

And by segmenting users like this, the product can help ecommerce sites optimise for more sales. 

A user with high buying intent probably doesn’t need to be offered a discount, for example. A user with low buying intent probably won’t benefit from a newsletter signup popup blocking their view of the site. They’re casually browsing, leave them alone to explore!

The platform doesn’t handle the different actions you might want to take for different segments, but it does help users understand their audience and take action via the other martech products they use.

“You can use the information both on your site, or off your site in your CRM or your performance marketing,” says Mannheim.

This could, for example, involve excluding low-intent window shoppers from retargeting on Instagram. Why waste your ads budget on them?

Interestingly, Mannheim says that aggregating signals of intent from all the websites they’ve trained their A.I. with yielded slightly better results than tailoring results to an individual website. 

A lot of the appeal of Made With Intent is the way it integrates with third-party apps

The story so far

Mannheim, appropriately enough, has a background in conversion rate optimisation. Around a decade ago, he founded User Conversion, a consultancy in the space, eventually selling it in 2021.

He then wrote a book called The Person in Personalisation.

“I interviewed 153 different experts around the world,” he says.

“It started with ‘how do you do personalisation?’, and it ended up being more about the relationship that exists between brands and customers.”

This is a topic he feels a personal connection to through his love of Manchester United and Disney.

“They’re two brands that have focused on nickel-and-diming me as a fan or a guest, foregoing the experience of being a fan or a guest for the sake of short-term profit,” he explains.

And while Manchester United backed a proposed European Super League against fans’ wishes, and Disney worsened fan experiences in their parks to increase profits, Mannheim argues many ecommerce sites do something similar every day.

“They ignore user needs and assume that everybody on the site is ready to buy. 

“That’s why we get discounts popping up in our faces left, right and centre. That's why we get anxiety-inducing social proof messages saying ‘there's only 10 left in stock’. Whether that's true or not is a different thing. 

“It's designed to show everyone, but it only impacts the few that are ready to purchase. It creates anxiety in the many who are not at that stage just yet. I wanted to create a new way of thinking about how retailers view their audience.”

The startup began work in early 2023. Inspired by the statistical metric in football called xG (expected goals), they developed their on metric, xC (expected conversions).

And because ecommerce sites are all pretty similar, they found xC worked across sites

After launching a beta product in September 2023, they have attracted customers including Ernest Jones, Bensons for Beds, and Rapha.


Mannheim says Made With Intent raised a £700,000 pre-seed round last year led by Haatch alongside a number of angels. This allowed them to test and refine the product they’d built at that stage.

They’ve now raised a £1.5 million round led by Mercuri alongside Portfolio Ventures and existing investors. This will be used to fuel customer growth.

And there’s more!

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  • Founder David Mannheim’s vision for where the startup is heading

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