Today is an exceptional day for Sidecar, our investors, and our customers.
I am very excited to announce that today Sidecar officially closed an $8 million Series B investment round led by Ascent Ventures, a Boston-based VC that specializes in backing early-stage technology companies. This marks Ascent’s first investment in a Philadelphia-based tech company.
This news comes on the heels of a year marked by exceptional growth for Sidecar. In 2015, the company signed nearly three times as many new customers compared to 2014 and doubled its employee base.
How’d We Get Here?
In early 2014, we predicted that a dramatic shift was about to take place in e-commerce marketing. We saw early signals of what would become a rapid and important change in the way that consumers make online purchases — specifically in the e-commerce search-to-transaction journey.
By early 2015, product-level advertising for online retailers began to outpace other forms of digital marketing in both performance and revenue, and retailer investment in those channels began to explode. As such, search engines like Google and Bing started heavily investing in their product ad offerings to meet both consumer and retailer demand.
And Sidecar was right there to realize this enormous opportunity.
While these new ad formats presented a whole new opportunity for retailers, they also brought a new and complicated challenge. Product-level advertising requires retailers to understand how to position and promote each individual item in their catalog to connect with the right consumer. This demands a far greater degree of sophistication and granularity than traditional marketing agencies and technology platforms can handle.
Sidecar decided to meet those challenges. We established a focused mission to create specific technology to deliver the precision and frequency of decision making required to get the most out of product advertising. That meant building technology to programmatically align products with those consumers who are most likely to purchase them.
We did just that, starting in the Google Shopping channel. Retailers that use Sidecar in Google Shopping see an average 50 percent increase in year-over-year channel revenue and a simultaneous 10 percent decrease in cost of revenue.
Consequently, the demand for our programmatic technology exploded, and we realized the opportunity we had to quickly scale our team and our innovations to meet this demand with a Series B round of financing.
Google Shopping remains a powerhouse for retailers and consumers alike. Sidecar will make significant investments in Google Shopping as it continues to mature and evolve with more sophisticated features. We have some major announcements in store for our Google Shopping offering in Q1 2016.
That said, consumers, retailers, and ad networks Internet-wide are showing great affinity for product ads versus other forms of digital advertising. In the last six months, every major ad network, including the largest social media players, have announced product ad solutions. As such, Sidecar will be delivering technology to help retailers connect relevant products with targeted consumers in more channels in 2016.
We will also significantly build up our sales, marketing, client services, and R&D teams to continue fueling growth and satisfying the demand for Sidecar’s award-winning tech. We plan to double our team once again next year and continue building a world-class organization of innovators and hustlers.
And as always, every step we take will be for the express purpose of continuing to deliver stellar financial results to our retail and e-commerce customers.
A Word of Thanks
In addition to Ascent, Osage Venture Partners and other new and existing institutional and angel investors also participated in the round, including: Michael Rubin, former CEO of GSI Commerce; Sashi Reddi, former CEO and founder of AppLabs; Jonathan Brassington, CEO of LiquidHub; Paul Melchiorre, President of iPipeline; Michael Phelan, former CEO of SevOne; Scott Tarte, CEO of Sparks; Richard Vague, former CEO of Energy Plus and First USA; Tony Ibarguen, CEO of Quench; NextStage Capital; Robin Hood Ventures; Ben Franklin Technology Partners; Innovation Capital Advisors; and ARC Angel Fund. We are thankful to all of our investors for their faith in our technology and our team.
Sidecar will be delivering technology to help retailers connect relevant products with targeted consumers in more channels in 2016.
We’re extremely grateful to our loyal customers, and the trust they place in Sidecar to drive revenue for their businesses every day.
Lastly, the kind of rapid success Sidecar has seen this year is simply not possible without a stellar team to make it happen. I am beyond privileged to work with one of the smartest, most dedicated, and most innovative teams in the tech world. I cannot say enough about how the contributions of each and every Sidecar employee have played an integral role in getting us to this point.
We’re stoked to go into what promises to be a pivotal 2016 for Sidecar, our customers, and the e-commerce landscape. Stay tuned for exciting new product news from Sidecar in early December.
Founder and CEO
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