Okendo, a customer marketing SaaS platform for ecommerce brands, announced today that it has raised $5.3 million in seed funding. The round was led by Index Ventures with participation from a number of notable industry leaders.
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The funding follows 12 months of rapid growth, during which Okendo’s annual recurring revenue increased by more than 3x. The growth has been fuelled by the accelerated global adoption of ecommerce, increased merchant demand for customer-centric marketing solutions and Okendo’s continued business expansion in the United States.
The company also announced plans to evolve its offering beyond its cornerstone customer reviews app and into a platform with a suite of integrated products for helping consumer brands better manage their owned customer relationships.
“Commerce marketing is changing,” said Matthew Goodman, Co-Founder & CEO of Okendo.
“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. 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.”
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Okendo works with 3,500+ high-growth direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands such as Netflix, SKIMS, CrunchyRoll, Fanjoy, Bite and Knix — and has experienced 5x customer growth in just one year. Since launching in late 2018, brands using Okendo have collectively captured 20 million+ individual points of zero-party customer data (a type of data that consumers intentionally and proactively share with a brand). The information spans all key categories including identity, demographic and psychographic data. Merchants use this intelligence to calibrate all aspects of their operations from marketing to support to product development.
As Okendo expands its platform, it will offer more ways for brands to generate these and other types of highly valuable customer data. It will also provide the tools for brands to better organize and understand that information, ultimately driving growth through highly effective, personalized customer marketing.
“The next major opportunity in the fast-growing brand economy is for companies to reduce their dependence on Facebook and Google,” says Index Ventures Principal Damir Becirovic. “The clearest way for brands to achieve this is to unlock feedback, preferences, and data from their customers directly. Okendo has already built a powerful data platform that is becoming increasingly strategic to their brand customers and we’re excited about what’s to come.”
Okendo plans to use the funding to accelerate its existing business operations by hiring across all departments, with a focus on engineering, marketing and sales. “We doubled headcount in 2020, mainly in our engineering team as we’re a very product-centric company,” said Mr. Goodman. We intend to further accelerate team growth in 2021 with plans to triple to over 60 employees by the end of the year, as we build out our platform and enable consumer brands of all sizes to more effectively manage and leverage their owned customer relationships.”
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