Friday, May 06, 2011

PowerReviews Locks in $10M for Ecommerce Consumer Reviews

San Francisco-based social commerce SaaS solutions provider, PowerReviews, recently locked $10 million in a round of funding led by Four Rivers Group, with participation from new investor Woodside Fund and previous investors Menlo Ventures and Tenaya Capital. This investment brings PowerReview’s total venture funding to $37 million with the fresh capital to be used toward hiring new engineers and expanding its sales organization.

So... You DO like it?

Since launching in 2005, PowerReviews bread and butter has come from providing retailers and brands with the ability to collect, organize and analyze comments and other user-generated content from their in-house developed technology.

Although shopping is entirely an active and social experience for most users, ecommerce sites have been slower to adopt social sharing tools to their platforms. PowerReviews banks on the idea that most shoppers would be more inclined to make a purchase if they have read at least one previous customer review and are even more influenced if a review was made by a friend or relative, as it brings a humanizing factor to the product and ecommerce.

Currently, PowerReviews social commerce solution is live on over 5,000 ecommerce software platforms which includes several big name brands like REI, ESPN, Neutrogena, and Staples. The company also has tapped into the social network cash cow that is Facebook and has recently launched a solution suite that brings the Facebook experience and Fan acquisition into the consumer’s product review process.

However, 2011 has shown that social commerce is becoming more than just a fad and is quickly picking up and becoming one of the more prominent channels to increase conversion rates, sales, and drive more visibility to ecommerce sites. With that being said, there is certainly no shortage of social ecommerce software utilities available, and PowerReviews is not without its competition. TurnTo, Wantlet, and Quorushave all stepped up to flex their SaaS-based social commerce solution muscles and have been integrated on a number of ecommerce software platforms.

Perhaps the key to staying relevant for PowerReviews is its mission for delivering true innovation as the shape of social commerce is quickly evolving along with the ecommerce landscape. In April, PowerReviews was awarded its second patent relating to its SaaS delivery method, which makes it possible to display user-generated content on brands’ product pages in a format that is easily crawled by search engines.

“With the advent of social commerce, the way retailers and brands communicate and interact with consumers has been transformed,” said Farouk Ladha, Managing Partner, Four Rivers Group. “With a track record of innovation complemented by its unique multi-tenant SaaS technology, I look forward to PowerReviews’ continued growth and category leadership.”

Jason Kiwaluk

Mower & Shoveller,

Ideation | Ecommerce | Fintech | Innovation | Strategy | Opinionated Agitator RevenueWire,FuturePay+PayMotion

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