Button Raises Another 30M to Make Seamless Mobile Commerce a Reality

first_imgPREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Button Raises Another $30M to Make Seamless Mobile Commerce a RealityJuly 2, 2019 by AlleyWatch 344SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Mobile commerce transactions will exceed $2.3T in 2019 with growth forecasted to continue well into 2025.   One of the biggest challenges with transactions on mobile has been the user experience – it’s just difficult for consumers to click on ads that were likely designed for desktop and complete transactions on their phones.  Square peg; round hole.  Button, the mobile commerce platform founded in 2014, sought out to change this by shying away from the traditional ad dependency and natively incorporate commerce opportunities into publishing platforms, making the experience seamless for consumers with a focus on action and not ads.  Since we spoke to the team after the company’s seed round in 2014, Button has worked with all of the top 10 US e-commerce retailers as ranked by eMarketer to power their mobile commerce experiences.AlleyWatch caught up with Button’s cofounder and CEO Michael Jaconi to learn more about the company’s impressive traction, future plans, and latest round of funding, which brings the company’s total funding to $64.6M across five rounds.Who were your investors and how much did you raise? Button raised $30M in Series C funding. Icon Ventures led the round, along with participation from Capital One Ventures and returning investors Redpoint Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, and DCM Ventures.Tell us about the product or service that Button offers.Button is the mobile commerce platform that enables companies to drive revenue through commerce in their mobile apps and websites. With Button’s patented, higher-converting technology, brands grow their mobile businesses, publishers increase their mobile revenues, and consumers enjoy better buying experiences by getting exactly what they want at the tap of a button.What inspired you to start Button?While at Rakuten, I had witnessed the explosion of mobile-first companies in Asian markets, and in China in particular. Actions and commerce dominated the internet economy which was primarily mobile, and advertising was largely non-existent. Meanwhile, I looked at the US and how broken the traditional advertising models were over here, particularly in mobile, which resulted in high costs for brands and poor user experiences for consumers. And that was the idea for Button—I wanted to create a win-win-win solution for all parties involved: enabling brands to acquire new customers at the moment they are ready to purchase, publishers to drive more mobile revenue, and users to have a more seamless, personalized discovery-to-purchase experience.How is Button different?Button is creating an internet-driven by actions, not ads. We’re building an alternative to Google and Facebook while providing publishers a new way to grow their mobile revenue by tapping into the world’s largest brands.What market does Button target and how big is it? Mobile commerce is the single largest driver of mobile growth, growing at a 38% annual growth rate, and it is on pace to top $3.5 trillion in worldwide spending by 2021.Today, we’re the only platform offering “mobile commerce as a business model” for companies that want to tap into the explosion of mobile spending that’s happening. From banks, to influencer apps, to mobile wallets, to travel sites—everyone needs to make money in mobile. And we think commerce is the best way.What’s your business model?We are focused on driving value and only make money when our partners make money from transactions that take place in our marketplace. When our brands grow their mobile businesses by acquiring new customers at the moment they are ready to purchase, our publishers drive more mobile revenue with commerce programs, and users to have a more seamless, personalized discovery-to-purchase experience, all parties win.How has the business changed since we last spoke in 2014 after Button’s seed round?We have stayed true to our vision of wanting to build a better way to do business in mobile from the very beginning. Since signing Uber on as our first partner, after the seed round, we’ve grown exponentially—hundreds of the world’s industry leaders, like the nine out of 10 of the largest retailers on the Forbes Global 2000 and all 10 of the top US e-commerce retailers ranked by sales share on eMarketer, have chosen to work with Button. Examples include Samsung, United Airlines, Walmart, Expedia, eBay, and more. And as a result, our team has also grown from seven to 127 people since our seed round!Since then, we’ve also continued to innovate to give consumers what they want at the tap of a button.What was the funding process like?We were excited to welcome Icon Ventures and Capital One Ventures to the Button family through this round. Icon, the lead investor in this round, believes not only in a commerce-driven future but also in the values that define Button like grit and perseverance. Capital One Ventures that joined as a new investor saw massive potential in Button’s ability to tap into the growth of the mobile economy and the importance that opportunity poses for financial institutions.It was also heartwarming to see our investors Redpoint Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, and DCM Ventures return as investors in this new round. That’s a strong validation of the work that Button has done since our Series B funding such as growing the number the industry-leading partners on our platform by 1180%.What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?Our funding round was oversubscribed, so we had to be more selective about the investors that we chose to participate in the round. The enthusiasm for the space we’re inventing is high and the momentum is clear. In our decision criteria, we wanted to work with investors that are aligned with our vision, and we couldn’t have asked for a better collection of folks around the table.What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?One of the things that stood out to our investors was the way that Button’s small team has established deep partnerships with so many industry-leading brands.One of the things that stood out to our investors was the way that Button’s small team has established deep partnerships with so many industry-leading brands.Also, as the ads-based models of the desktop era are being replaced by the actions- and commerce-based models of the mobile era, they felt that Button was well-positioned to help lead this trend.What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months? Over the next six months, we are looking to hire more engineers and the best talent to accelerate our product development to build a more dynamic mobile infrastructure.What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?Focus on the long-term vision and what you need to do to get your company there. Find mission-driven people to join you and try to always build a team of folks that you enjoy working with. Great times and hard times abound at a startup, so it’s important you build a culture and team that can run through walls with you.Where do you see the company going now over the near term?I see us taking our strategic partnerships to new heights, an ever-growing team with an increasing international footprint, and a scaled platform that continues to make it easier for customers to purchase on mobile.What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?Ushiwakamaru. Hideo, the chef, is a friend and a great fisherman.center_img Filed Under: #NYCTech, Advertising, AlleyTalk, Business, E-Commerce, Funded in the Alley, Funded in the Alley, Funding, Funding News, Interviews, Mobile, Startups, Venture Capital Tagged With: Button, Capital One Ventures, DCM Ventures, Michael Jaconi, norwest venture partners, Redpoint Ventureslast_img

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