Lily AI, a retail technology platform specializing in AI solutions for retailers and brands, announced Avnish Patel has joined the Company’s executive team as Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. In this new role, Patel will be responsible for overall organizational excellence, scaling cross-functional capabilities, and cultivating partnerships and alliances to accelerate growth. Complementing the Lily AI leadership team, he will advance the Company’s mission to transform the retail industry through AI solutions that help retailers and brands improve customer experiences throughout their digital commerce touchpoints.
Patel brings decades of experience in the growth stage technology sector managing strategy, operations, and finance functions with expertise in strategic planning, corporate & business development, team effectiveness, board relations, and investor communication.
Before joining Lily AI, Patel served as SVP of Strategy & Operations at Picsart, a Sequoia & SoftBank-supported visual creation platform. In addition to leading business and corporate development, strategy, and all international and new business teams, he was instrumental in securing the company’s $100M+ unicorn round.
Previously, Patel played the role of an internal entrepreneur by helping to establish and oversee the Incubation Business Unit at Eventbrite, which led to the creation of various new products and services. Additionally, during his tenure as VP of Business Development & GM at IronPlanet, an industrial equipment marketplace supported by Kleiner Perkins and Accel Partners, his team expanded and developed the SaaS Fleet Management & Valuation software business. This, along with his involvement in multiple M&A deals, was pivotal to the company’s acquisition of almost $1 billion. Patel’s career began on Wall Street, working in investment banking and private equity.
“Avnish Patel is an accomplished investor, corporate advisor, and empathetic operator with the ability to transform businesses through his entrepreneurial drive, customer obsession, and skill for abstract yet commercial thinking,” said Purva Gupta, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “His business acumen and strategic lens will play a critical role during our next phase of growth. I couldn’t be more excited that Avnish is joining the Lily AI team.”
“The New York Times put it best: ‘Over the past few months, a gold rush into start-ups working on “generative” artificial intelligence has escalated into a no-holds-barred deal-making mania’ and while AI may seem like a shiny new toy to many, Lily AI’s customers have already begun to reap the rewards of this robust technology, experiencing quantifiable improvements in customer experience and sales growth,” said Patel. “It’s why I’m excited to join this pioneering team that has already proven themselves as leaders in the retail AI industry, delivering real-world, tangible benefits to retailers and brands.”
According to an analysis by McKinsey, the apparel industry alone is expected to experience a significant boost in operating profits in the range of $150 billion, conservatively, up to $275 billion within the next three to five years, thanks to the adoption of AI. Leveraging both established as well as emerging AI technologies, Lily AI is well-positioned to capitalize on this projected retail sector growth. Patel’s appointment as Chief Operating Officer marks a significant milestone for Lily AI, signaling the Company’s commitment to reimagining retail and deepening customer loyalty by bringing inspiration and joy back to the experience of shopping.
Patel holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and an MBA from Columbia Business School.