First of all, I’m delighted to be announcing the closing of a $3.0M expansion of our Series A investment! We’ve attracted participation by three quality venture investors who combine to give Closely the backing to really scale our Perch business!
With our SMB user base rapidly approaching 40,000, small business owners and marketers are responding very favorably to our product and continually expanding their everyday use of Perch.
[Way] More than a Mobile App
Perch provides each small business user with a personalized everyday application to watch, learn and discover how to improve their digital marketing performance. With their personal live stream we aim to capture a true marketplace view to inform and inspire their own local marketing activities.
Beneath the surface, we’re building a deep data service to deliver insights into the SMB’s performance, and to make connections to best-of-breed products and services that solve the gaps and opportunities that we bring to the attention of the business owner.
SMB’s are demonstrating a real thirst to better learn and grow with new digital marketing, but are overwhelmed with the noise. Perch aims to cut through this noise, and create a much-needed trusted everyday connection to SMB owners, anchored in the insights that come from observing their performance in the specific context of their local marketplace graph.
The Perch Business Model
One of our new investors, Joe Zell of Grotech, captures the evolution of our Perch product and business model in his comments:
The team at Closely is addressing a universal challenge for marketing tech providers and that is simply that no one is getting the attention of the SMBs. The Perch platform serves up valuable everyday information and ideas that engage business owners, and then identifies solutions specific to their business based on their marketplace behavior. It’s a compelling disruptive product and business model!
Steven Jacobs of Streetfight also captures our intent in his article on the Perch announcement.
What’s particularly creative, and what likely earned the company funding, isn’t the app itself — it’s the model for making money. The Denver-based startup plans to support the application by building a B2B marketing product on top of that recommendation engine, allowing the thousands of technology companies that sell to small businesses to promote their products to merchants in need of their services.
You can look at Perch as a product that innovates in the “traditional” worlds of social listening, reputation management and small business intelligence/analytics. But that’s only the surface view – our vision is to create a trusted everyday relationship with small business owners that empowers them continually watch, learn and discover. Then we leverage this attention and the data underlying the service to develop a new marketplace for connecting each SMB to the digital products which legitimately deserve their attention.
All signal, no noise!
Press Coverage Highlights
A quick summary of the press coverage from our funding announcement is linked below, sharing the momentum of our Perch business!
- Streetfight: http://streetfightmag.com/2014/04/08/closely-raises-3m-to-turn-its-social-analytics-app-into-a-business/
- VentureBeat: http://venturebeat.com/2014/04/08/closely-lets-you-spy-on-your-competitors-and-steal-a-few-moves
- Xconomy: http://www.xconomy.com/boulder-denver/2014/04/08/closely-raises-3m-to-continue-growth-and-development-of-perch-app/
- Upstart Business Journal: http://upstart.bizjournals.com/companies/startups/2014/04/08/closely-raises-series-a-to-build-perch.html
- Denver Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/blog/boosters_bits/2014/04/colorado-startup-attracts-funding-for-small-biz.html
- Innovation News: http://innovationews.com/innovation-news-releases/closely-picks-up-3m-in-series-a-funding-round-led-by-growtech-ventures/
- Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_25517243/more-than-300-million-pours-colorado-digital-startups