Okendo wants to turn your buyers into buyers thanks to better customer reviews
No merchant likes a bad customer review, and Okendo, a customer marketing platform, today announced $26 million in Series A funding to continue building its customer review tools for e-commerce brands.
Base10 Partners led the funding round and were joined by Craft Ventures and existing investor Index Ventures. It gives the company $33.5 million in total capital raised to date.
Matthew Goodman, co-founder and CEO of Okendo Picture credits: Okendo
Matthew Goodman and co-founder Matt Garven launched Okendo in 2019 after working together at VidTitan, a company founded by Goodman that was an app for Shopify merchants to collect video testimonials and customer reviews. They discovered that e-commerce was the sector that had the most appeal for VidTitan and scaled the company to Okendo.
Today, the company works with over 5,000 consumer brands, primarily direct-to-consumer merchants operating on Shopify, to attract more buyers, drive sales, and increase customer lifetime value. Clients include Skims, Haus, Crunchyroll, Magic Spoon, Frame, Nomad, Buck Mason, and Liquid Death.
Here’s how it works: Okendo enables merchants to collect high-impact content directly from customers, including product ratings and reviews, customer-generated photos and videos, questions and answers, and other individual customer data points such as preferences and behaviors.
These merchants can then showcase the ratings and reviews on their website or social media to tell more personalized marketing stories.
“Merchants can use the power of their customers to increase trust, drive conversion, and deliver better performance and customer experiences,” Goodman told TechCrunch.
Recent tests conducted by Okendo showed that, on average, shoppers interacting with its tools had a 2.5x higher conversion rate and a 15% higher average order value.
In terms of competition, Goodman considers Yotpo, an e-commerce marketing company that raised $230 million in funding last year, to be Okendo’s closest competitor. However, he says his company differentiates itself by taking a customer-centric approach and focusing on this Shopify community, which means it can have deeper integration and better use of market technologies. As a result, merchants can more easily customize and deploy Okendo.
“We also have a unique approach to how we generate customer content that combines the use of customer audit data to be able to deliver more personalized content, collection invites, and then that’s combined with a unique approach to content collection that has a mobile-first approach as well as various gamified elements to maximize the amount of content we collect,” Goodman added.
The company employs 83 people in Australia and the United States. Over the past 12 months, the company has doubled its annual recurring revenue.
The new funding will allow Okendo to accelerate its time to market and product development, which includes some releases planned for late 2022. The company also expanded to North America in early 2021, so the capital injection will contribute to the expansion. Goodman plans to add 50 positions to the team this year across all departments, but also specifically in engineering, sales and marketing.
TJ Nahigian, managing partner at Base10 Partners, says his firm has made about nine investments in the e-commerce category and has identified Okendo as a leader in reviews.
“We learned that it was more than just a customer review platform, that it was the initial corner, but there was a desire to turn it into much more than that. “, Nahigian told TechCrunch. “When we spoke with customers, we saw the ROI they were getting. It’s increasingly important for merchants to get closer to their customers to build credibility, sell products and build trust, and Okendo is by far the #1 platform and product in our minds for this.