San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) April 28, 2014
500friends, which arms retail brands with data-driven customer retention and loyalty solutions, has received a strategic investment from key retail, loyalty, and e-commerce leaders, including executives who were previously 500friends customers.
The new 500friends investors include Matt Howland, former CEO of LoyaltyLab; Neel Grover, former CEO of Buy.com; Michael Butler, former head of e-commerce at HP; Jim Keller, former CMO at Shoebuy; Abdul Popal, SVP at CafePress; and Brandon Proctor, CEO of Ice.com and former CMO of Build.com. Both Keller and Proctor were previously clients of 500friends.
“Now more than ever, leveraging loyalty program data to create personalized experiences has become a strategic imperative for retail brands,” said Howland, who also joined 500friends’ board of advisors. “500friends has rapidly emerged as a market leader, and I am excited to be involved with the team as they execute on their vision to help companies tap loyalty data to increase customer lifetime value.”
With institutional investors including Crosslink Capital, Intel Capital, Fung Capital USA, Silicon Valley Bank, and Y Combinator, 500friends was not actively seeking more financing. However, the company considered the experience and perspective of these strategic investors too valuable to pass up.
“Interest from this esteemed group of retail and loyalty leaders is a testament to their confidence in our team and our solution,” said 500friends CEO Justin Yoshimura.
500friends completed its Series B round in early 2013. The company plans to take advantage of the connections and expertise of its new investors to expand its customer base, which already totals over 50 leading omni-channel and e-commerce brands, including 1800Flowers.com, Omaha Steaks, and Kabam. These brands have achieved revenue gains of up to 12% and boosted purchase frequency by up to 60% using the 500friends LoyaltyPlus suite of SaaS solutions.
Beyond his team’s passion for helping retail brands perform better, Yoshimura attributes 500friends’ success to the growing number of CMOs who recognize the strategic importance of loyalty data for increasing customer lifetime value. These forward-thinking marketers are shifting budgets away from their traditional reliance on customer acquisition and devoting more resources to maximizing the value of customers they already have.
“Every retail brand now understands that acquisition is just the first step,” said Yoshimura, “and that retention is a top priority for achieving sustainable profitability.”
CMOs engage 500friends to maximize the profitability of their customer relationships. The company’s SaaS lifecycle marketing suite, LoyaltyPlus, makes it easy to execute omni-channel loyalty programs and personalized customer retention campaigns. Learn more at http://www.500friends.com.