SEATTLE, Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- ReplyYes, the leading e-commerce over mobile messaging platform for brands to engage and transact with their customers, today announced a $6.5 million Series A investment to expand its platform to leading lifestyle brands. The funding, led by Madrona Venture Group, Cross Culture Ventures, Lowercase Capital, Muse Capital and Arnold Venture Group, allows ReplyYes to reinvent how brands personalize audience engagement, find new ways to reach their customers and deliver individualized and relevant recommendations over text and Facebook messaging.
The announcement builds on ReplyYes' success running The Edit, its text-based service that sends vinyl fans daily recommendations based on their musical preferences and allows them to instantly purchase and ship the record by simply replying 'Yes.' The Edit has sold more than 100,000 vinyl albums via mobile text in its first 18 months of operation.
"The ReplyYes mission is to help people discover and purchase the things that they love. Our platform enables brands to engage and transact with their customers where they increasingly are - on their mobile phones messaging," said Dave Cotter, CEO of ReplyYes. "Through this latest investment, the world's leading lifestyle brands will be able to leverage the ReplyYes platform to offer frictionless e-commerce over mobile messaging, allowing their audience direct and personalized engagement with the brands they love."
In addition, ReplyYes and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, have entered into an exclusive agreement to create a host of new engagement and shopping opportunities for UMG artists and their fans worldwide, including for music, tickets and artist merchandise. The deal is the first under ReplyYes' expansion into the lifestyle space, providing leading brands with a white-label e-commerce over mobile messaging platform to directly engage and transact with their customers.
"At UMG, we want to empower our artists and labels to leverage new technologies that help them build deeper relationships with their fans. ReplyYes helps us accomplish exactly that," said Peter Sinclair, Senior Vice President of Consumer Engagement at UMG. "Our recording artists, songwriters and labels benefit from these exciting new forms of fan engagement and merchandising that are created by conversational commerce. We are excited to work with ReplyYes, and even more excited for the millions of fans around the world who will experience this new and direct way of interacting with their favorite artists."
ReplyYes is the leading platform for e-commerce over mobile messaging for brands that want to engage and transact with their customers. Leveraging artificial intelligence and human-assisted AI, ReplyYes sends personalized product and content recommendations to create a unique customer experience for both brands and their customers.
Investor Quote Sheet
Madrona Venture Group
"We believe that mobile messaging will play a major role in the future of e-commerce," said Scott Jacobson, managing director at Madrona Venture Group. "ReplyYes is at the center of major macro technology trends: e-commerce, mobile, messaging, and artificial intelligence. With the success of their vinyl music store The Edit, which has sold over 100,000 albums in the past 18 months, and by bringing on major partners like UMG, ReplyYes has proven that their e-commerce over mobile messaging platform has a huge opportunity ahead of it."
"Our app discovery channel, Lowercase Alpha has been running on the ReplyYes platform for the past year," said Matt Mazzeo, managing director at Lowercase Capital. "Our vision for Lowercase Alpha is to create an entirely new way to help consumers discover and play with new apps before they've even launched. ReplyYes brings Lowercase Alpha users a personal, simple, and instant way to test new products and helps founders get invaluable feedback."
Cross Culture Ventures
"Mobile messaging is quickly becoming the world's primary and preferred form of personal communication," said Marlon Nichols, managing partner at Cross Culture Ventures. "ReplyYes uses artificial intelligence to deliver personalized offers that, combined with effortless mobile purchasing, delights and surprises people. This has resulted in engagement and sales conversion rates that makes me very optimistic about the opportunity ahead for ReplyYes."
"ReplyYes blends cutting edge artificial intelligence and machine learning, and human-assisted AI technologies into a mobile commerce platform solution that is truly unique," said Troy Carter, managing partner at Cross Culture Ventures. "Brands that want to directly engage and transact with their customers on an ongoing basis, and not face disintermediation from e-commerce giants and social networks, would be well advised to explore next generation mobile e-commerce solutions like ReplyYes."
"The response from leading brands and artists that we are talking to about ReplyYes has been phenomenal," said Assia Grazioli-Venier, founder and partner at Muse Capital and Muse Labs. "Brands are actively looking for new ways to directly engage and transact with their customers and fans over mobile. The personalized recommendations delivered over the ReplyYes platform via messaging truly makes discovery effortless and purchasing instant."
"I consistently hear from brands that they want to remove friction from the mobile customer buying experience," said Rachel Springate, founder and partner at Muse Capital and Muse Labs. "At the same time, brands and artists want to create an ongoing relationship and conversation with their customers and fans - not just one-off transactions. This is exactly what the ReplyYes platform was built from the ground up to provide and why there is so much excitement about the company."
Arnold Venture Group
"Having looked deeply at this space, we believe that Dave and the ReplyYes team are emerging as the clear market leader," said Cole Younger, managing director at Arnold Venture Group. "Traction with their vinyl album store, The Edit, combined with the top tier brands they are bringing onto their platform makes ReplyYes the breakaway bet in the e-commerce over mobile messaging market."
ReplyYes is the first platform to offer frictionless e-commerce over mobile messaging for brands looking to engage and transact directly with their audience. ReplyYes' mission is to help people effortlessly discover and purchase items they love using their mobile phones, while enabling brands to send personalized product recommendations over text and Facebook messaging. Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), human-assisted AI, and integrated payments, the ReplyYes platform learns from customer feedback to make the experience serendipitous to each person and brand. Message recipients simply reply "Yes" to instantly buy from their mobile phones. Brands increase customer engagement, improve the mobile customer experience, and grow e-commerce revenue. Brands using the ReplyYes platform include Universal Music Group, The Edit vinyl record store, Origin Bound graphic novel store, and Lowercase Alpha.
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