Nift, which is giving native companies a brand new approach to promote themselves, has raised $16.5 million in Collection A funding.
The companies that work with Nift (the identify is brief for “neighborhood reward”) may give particular reward playing cards to their greatest prospects. These prospects enter their codes on the Nift web site, reply a couple of questions and might then select from two free presents from different native companies.
Founder and CEO Elery Pfeffer urged that this can assist smaller companies keep aggressive towards Amazon, whereas avoiding a few of the pitfalls of selling themselves by means of low cost websites like Groupon. For one factor, Pfeffer argued that the individual receiving the Nift is “someone else’s greatest buyer — this isn’t a discount hunter motivated by a deal.”
“They’re getting a present they weren’t anticipating,” he stated. “We make the choice for them, so there’s no self-selecting discount searching occurring. That’s what makes the entire thing work.”
The concept is that companies get new prospects in trade for selling different retailers. It’s as much as every service provider to find out what makes somebody their greatest buyer and what number of Nift playing cards they need to give out, however Pfeffer (a knowledge scientist who beforehand based influencer advertising firm Pursway) stated his staff has constructed subtle instruments to seek out “the right match” between prospects and presents.
This method has already been fairly profitable in Boston, the place the corporate says 250,000 prospects have activated greater than 500,000 Nift playing cards. Pfeffer stated 86 p.c of these prospects find yourself receiving a present from a enterprise that they’ve both by no means visited or haven’t visited prior to now yr. Afterwards, 88 p.c of consumers stated they’re desirous about visiting the enterprise once more, and a month later, 37 p.c have really executed so.
The brand new funding comes from Spark Capital, Foundry Group and Confederate and can gasoline the startup’s plans to increase to 5 new markets (along with Boston, it’s at the moment out there in Windfall and Washington, D.C.).
“Retail has modified dramatically with the widespread adoption of e-commerce, however one thing has been lacking for small companies on the native stage,” stated Foundry Group’s Seth Levine within the funding announcement. “Nift is offering a approach for retailers to ship the experiences prospects need, whereas fostering a wholesome ecosystem. The success of the platform illustrates the influence it’s already having in strengthening these companies and revitalizing communities.”