Shopify app Okendo has announced that it has raised a $5.3 million seed round led by Index Ventures. The startup is based in Miami and Sydney, Australia.
The investment, led by San Francisco-based Index Ventures, comes at a time when online direct-to-consumer businesses are booming. D2C eCommerce sales in the US jumped from $77 billion in 2019 to $112 billion in 2020 – despite and, perhaps, thanks to the pandemic. This market is projected to grow to $175 billion in 2023.
Success in the D2C space requires business owners to keep on top of all data related to their customers. But this is a challenge as tech stacks grow increasingly complex and big tech platforms become wary of sharing user data with advertisers.
Okendo is working to make it easier for brands to understand consumers, ultimately leading to more accurate targeting and higher conversion rates.
In a statement, Matthew Goodman, Okendo’s co-founder and CEO, asserted that “commerce marketing is changing.”
“Merchants are realizing that effective customer data management is critical to capitalizing on the defining strength of the DTC business model — the owned customer relationship,” said Goodman, who works in the Miami office. “Rather than remain dependent on the walled gardens of Facebook or Amazon, smart brands are building proprietary customer data management capabilities of their own that enable them to deliver more personalized customer experiences and create sustainable differentiation.”
Okendo’s main product offering is a Shopify app that helps manage customer reviews. The integration is used by more than 3,500 D2C brands, including some household names such as Netflix, Skims, Crunchyroll, and Thermomix.
With this funding, the company plans to develop tools for brands to organize, understand, and act upon the data it collects.
In 2020, Okendo tripled its annual recurring revenue and increased its customer base by five times, thanks in part to its further expansion into the US market.
Since launching in 2018, companies that use Okendo’s reviews platform have collected more than 20 million data points on customers – all of which have been captured with users’ consent. This stands in stark contrast to the soon-to-be defunct cookie collection process, which has come under fire for covertly following users around as they browse the internet.
The startup doubled its headcount in 2020 and plans to further triple this growth in 2021, aiming for more than 60 employees by the end of the year. Goodman said that the company is hiring in all departments. Candidates can check out Okendo’s careers page to learn about all open positions, all of which were remote at time of writing.
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