Lehi—Podium, a SaaS platform that enables local businesses and consumers to more effectively and conveniently interact through messaging tools and online reviews, announced it has raised $32 million in Series A funding in a round led by Accel, with participation from Summit Partners, GV (formerly Google Ventures), and previous investor Y Combinator.
Prior to Podium’s Series A, the company had raised $4 million over two seed rounds. That $4 million was enough to drive an increase of over 600 percent in year-over-year recurring revenue, taking the company to over $12 million in ARR by the end of 2016. Podium has also grown its headcount over 1000 percent to build a team of 175 full-time employees to-date, and acquired a customer roster that spans across the United States, totalling over 80,000 users. This growth has been entirely based on Podium’s first product that helps local businesses generate and report on reviews and feedback. After starting with SMBs in late 2014, the company is now seeing significant growth with mid-market and enterprise customers.
“We rarely see such efficient growth paired with such a large market opportunity,” said Miles Clements of Accel. “Podium’s growth is on par with some of the most well-known tech companies in the world, and we believe that’s due to the technology, the team, and a unique approach to an often neglected market: local businesses.”
Podium was founded on the principle that local businesses need help building an authentic story online. While reviews are a critical piece of the marketing toolkit for these businesses, Podium’s solution recognizes that they are just one piece of the puzzle. The company’s technology aims to impact the entire customer lifecycle, boosting consumer engagement even further.
“We believe Podium’s vision – to power business to consumer interactions throughout the entire customer journey – is extraordinarily compelling,” said Andy Collins of Summit Partners. “The majority of consumer discovery happens online, but a vast majority of purchases still occur offline. Podium has the potential to meaningfully influence the massive end market of local commerce.”
Podium’s Messenger product is a new addition to the company’s platform that enables businesses to interact with their customers via convenient channels they are already using, such as text message. The goal is to give businesses the power to consolidate customer interactions into a single platform to improve events like scheduling, updates, or general questions.
“Businesses are rapidly learning that online interactions, online reviews, or digital communications, lead to offline, face-to-face interactions and ultimately to purchase decisions,” said Eric Rea, CEO and co-founder of Podium. “That understanding has made us hyperfocused on improving the relationship between local business and consumers. Our goal is to make interactions more convenient for consumers and more productive for businesses. We believe we are the best in the world at helping local businesses tell their story through online reviews, and we will continue to work tirelessly to build on that foundation by providing technology solutions that benefit both the businesses and their end-consumer.”