Experify Raises $4M Seed Round to Create Experiential Reviews as a Service Platform that Connects Prospective Buyers to Trusted, Authentic Product Owners
Experify, the first platform to enable a truly authentic product review experience by connecting prospective buyers with purchasers, closed a $4M seed round led by Vertex Ventures US, with the participation of Sonae Investment Management and the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund.
In recent years, the rise of disingenuous influencers, hidden advertisements, and unverified purchasers have greatly undermined the credibility of online reviews. The $152B industry of fake reviews has caused people to need at least 10 reviews on average before they trust them, and for 68% of people to regularly question the authenticity of reviews. As a result, brands struggle to build trust with new and prospective customers, damaging their customer experience and ultimately leading to a loss of sales.
Experify solves this problem by entirely reinventing the buying experience with a platform that connects prospective buyers to real purchasers in their community, enabling them to speak with a genuine owner or even test out the product in question in person. Buyers can feel confident making purchases after having first-hand experience or hearing an honest review from someone who knows the product best.
Authentic, high-quality review experiences have proven to be influential in purchasing decisions. Since Experify’s inception in 2020, the company has consistently shown significant increases in lead conversion rates for participating brands. Nearly any product or service can benefit from introducing Experify to their customer experience, but particularly companies that sell high-consideration or high-cost goods such as indoor/outdoor furnishings, HiFi audio equipment, electric vehicles, and more.
“Our vision for Experify is to completely change the way that consumers buy products and evaluate online businesses through an authentic, scalable word-of-mouth experience”, said René Pfitzner, CEO, and co-founder of Experify. “Over the last year, we’ve helped a variety of great companies activate their community of customers like never before.”
“Experify is helping us scale the word-of-mouth recommendation experience for the digital age,” said Andi Solinski, Content Manager at RADON Bikes, one of Europe’s largest direct-to-consumer bicycle brands. “As an online-based retailer offering high-end bikes, it can be hard for prospective customers to know if our products are right for them. Experify connects real owners with prospective buyers so our satisfied customers and high-quality products can speak for themselves. Since embedding Experify into our customer experience, we’ve seen ROIs of 15x and more.”
Experify will use these new funds to scale and meet the growing customer demand by increasing headcount, specifically on the sales and product engineering teams. Following the recent addition of a Head of Sales, Experify’s senior leadership team will grow to include a Head of Engineering. Experify will focus on expanding its customer base and further developing the platform, aiming to expand its network of brands that use Experify.
“We chose to lead Experify’s seed round because we share the founders’ vision to create trusted communities of loyal consumers,” said In Sik Rhee, General Partner, of Vertex Ventures. “Experify is pioneering the natural evolution of consumer marketing beyond user-generated content, giving brands a valuable opportunity to engage with their current and future customers, creating an entirely new market. There’s currently no easy way for brands to connect genuinely with consumers so we believe the time is right and we’re thrilled at the opportunities ahead.”
In a world full of unverified online reviews and disingenuous influencers, consumers don’t always feel certain about their purchasing decisions, and as a result, brands can’t establish trust with new and prospective customers. Experify is the first platform where consumers can connect with an authentic owner–either via an online or for an in-person meetup in their community–to garner honest product feedback from a trusted source. https://experify.io
About Vertex Ventures US
Vertex Ventures US is an early-stage venture capital firm that backs technology companies transforming industries through software and data. With early and high-conviction investments in companies such as LaunchDarkly, PerimeterX, and Desktop Metal, Vertex US brings pioneering experience to pioneering enterprises.
Founded in 2015 by In Sik Rhee and Jonathan Heiliger, Vertex Ventures US is headquartered in Palo Alto and has partnered with founders around the world. For more information and to learn more about our portfolio companies, please visit vertexventures.com or on Twitter @vertexventures.
About Sonae Investment Management
Sonae IM is the technology investment arm of the multinational Sonae Group. With 40 direct investments and growing, it encompasses stakes in companies on a global scale, from early to growth stages, and in strategic business areas such as cybersecurity, digital infrastructure and retail technology. For more information, visit sonaeim.com