Allurent was an e-commerce 2.0 platform company started by Joe Chung and Fumi Matsumoto, both of whom come from Art Technology Group (ATG, now part of the ever-expanding Oracle empire), the leader in Web 1.0 e-commerce. Joe was ATG’s co-founder and Fumi was employee #1.
Polaris invested in Allurent in 2006. Joe and Fumi assembled a stellar team that created some amazing shopping experiences for the likes of Anthropologie, Borders, UnderArmor and Urban Outfitters. Allurent-powered e-commerce sites not only looked better, they also drove better economics. After the crash in 2008 etailers radically slowed down their replatforming efforts. Allurent pivoted sharply in response and restructured its product roadmap and go-to-market strategy to an on-demand offering called Allurent On Demand. It was a great example of how companies can reinvent themselves quickly using cloud computing but it wasn’t enough to compensate for the precipitous drop in demand. Allurent shut down in late 2010.
The more you tune a company to take advantage of a particular macro environment, the more exposed the company is to changes in the environment brought about by exogenous factors. Sometimes fatally so.
The Allurent team is continuing to make the Web better, one product at a time. Joe Chung founded RedStar, Fumi is now CTO at uTest and Allurent’s chief architect Jim Echmalian is leading the front end team at Shopximity.