By Riley Kaminer
We live in a ratings-driven world. Whether you’re looking for a movie to watch, a restaurant to eat in, or a pair of shoes to buy – chances are that your purchasing journey begins with reading some reviews.
Miami-based platform Okendo has built a customer review platform for ecommerce brands in the Shopify ecosystem. The startup has just secured a $ 26 million Series A fundraise led by Base10 Partners, with additional participation from Craft Ventures and Index Ventures, an existing investor. Overall, Okendo has raised $ 33.5 million thus far, including a $ 5.3 million seed round last year.
Since Okendo was founded three years ago, the company has worked with over 5,000 consumer (mostly D2C) brands such as Skims, Haus, Crunchyroll, Magic Spoon, Frame, Nomad, Buck Mason, and Liquid Death.
Through Okendo’s platform, brands can collect product ratings and reviews directly from customers, including photos and videos as well as Q&A. Sellers can then use these reviews to help compel customers to buy their product.
“Merchants can use the power of their customers to increase confidence, drive conversion and deliver better performance and customer experiences,” co-founder and CEO Matt Goodman told TechCrunch. Goodman linked up with co-founder Matt Garven while working together at VidTitan – a Shopify video testimonial app founded by Goodman (pictured above).
Okendo plans to use this funding to accelerate its product development process and go-to-market strategy. This Series A will also enable this currently 83 person team to expand to north of 130 – with a focus on engineering, sales, and marketing roles. The company reports that it has doubled its annual recurring revenue over the last year.
According to an analysis from Okendo, shoppers using the app have a 2.5x higher conversion rate and a 15% higher average order value. Anecdotally, Okendo’s customers confirm these results.
“We’ve been very impressed with the continued innovation we’ve seen from Okendo,” Hamid Saify, Senior Vice President of Digital Retail at Liquid Death Mountain Water, commented in a statement.
“Okendo reviews are one of our single most important conversion drivers,” Saify continued. “We also greatly value the customer data we collect with Okendo, which we use to inform many other aspects of our business, namely marketing, support and product development.”
Shopify has a market share of 31% of all US websites using eCommerce technologies, according to BuiltWith. With eCommerce in general growing at a rapid clip, Okendo stands to further enable D2C brands to stand out.
“In this era of Shopify enabling major innovation in the retail megatrend, owning and understanding your customers is a huge unlock for any e-commerce brand looking to grow quickly,” TJ Nahigian, Managing Partner at Base10 Partners, said in a statement.
For Goodman, this is just the beginning: “Okendo is on a mission to enable merchants to utilize their customers to grow bigger, faster,” he said. “We see a significant opportunity to expand our customer-centric platform to help merchants deepen their customer relationships and engage more intentionally with customers to drive more efficient, scalable growth.”
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