$724B is expected to be spent on advertising in 2020 according to Statista. Getting a company’s message out there to the right audience, at the right time is becoming an increasingly competitive and expensive task. BounceX has developed a people-based marketing cloud that offers a suite of products that first works to identify anonymous users to your website. The platform then uses this information to deploy a set of integrated services to drive conversion with triggered emails at the forefront of the offering. The company’s technology is already trusted by notable brands such as Hugo Boss, Clarks and Jet Blue.
AlleyWatch sat down with cofounder and CEO Ryan Urban to learn more about the company, its future plans, the future of behavioral marketing, and the company’s latest funding round which brings its total funding raised to $74.7M.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised $37M in Series B funding led by Battery Ventures with participation from existing investors: Contour Venture Partners, Cross Creek Capital, Primary Venture Partners, Jason Finger, and Rho Ventures.
Tell us about your product or service.
BounceX created the People-Based Marketing cloud and is the first new revenue channel with scale for marketers in 10 years. We have the ability to drive directly attributable revenue with similar or better scale than top search and social channels within their own analytics platform.
As opposed to MarTech companies that have built their own competing marketing clouds, we’ve taken the community approach and partnered with enterprise clouds like Oracle and Salesforce and integrated with our own clients’ tech stacks. This enterprise approach doesn’t force our clients to displace their existing tech stacks, which is one of the biggest reasons for our dominant position in the triggered email space.
Furthermore, marketing is all about growing the business. There are thousands of vendors out there, but few drive meaningful results and almost all take up the time, effort and energy of already-strapped marketing departments. BounceX was conceived to replace these non-performing technologies by identifying a brand’s consumers and providing the most relevant digital experience based on their behaviors.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
In the past six years that we’ve been around, we’ve been driven by two things: creating a product that works and providing value for our clients. That’s it.
A common mistake in today’s venture world is to invest a ton of money into sales and marketing before you have established product market fit. We didn’t want to be a company that sold a lot of promises based on buzzwords that don’t mean anything, so we held off on building our sales and marketing function until we “earned” the right to do so. In fact, our first marketing hire didn’t come until 2 years after we were founded.
Given our trajectory, I wouldn’t necessarily characterize us as growing slow and steady—we’ve quadrupled our revenue since being named the fastest growing company by Inc. in 2016—but in a way that’s what we did. The two things that we never lost sight of are our product and our clients.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Hustle your face off. Create a product that drives true value. Keep clients happy. The best way to attract investors is to get funded by your clients.
What inspired you to start the company?
As a marketer, you only have one job: grow your business. Period. I started this company because as a (B2C) marketer the only real ways to grow your online business are through Facebook and Google. If you think about it, Google was founded in 1998, and Facebook was founded in 2004, which means in over 10 years, there hasn’t been a real way to scale revenue. I wanted to take what I’ve learned on the consumer side and apply it to BounceX so that we can truly help marketers grow their businesses.
How has behavioral marketing evolved over the last few years and what’s in store for the future?
The brands that will survive and thrive in 2018 will begin using minimalist marketing strategies. If they don’t want to fatigue their email lists and piss off their customers, everything that marketers do moving forward must be relevant, enjoyable and non-intrusive. Minimalist marketing means taking the less is more approach. If you enjoy your marketing, everyone else will, too.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
We work with enterprise B2C companies that want to grow their business. At the moment, we work primarily with retailers and publishers and we’re expanding into financial services and travel.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve with this capital?
The simple answer is growth. In the next 2 years, we want to expand to 600 people globally with a concentration in our NYC and London locations. We’ll also use this capital for new real estate as we scale.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
The near term is driven by our long-term goals, which is to continue driving value for our clients with products that will consistently drive growth and revenue.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
If I was forced to leave New York City, the final place I’d go on my way out is Crif Dogs.