As Series A investors, a majority of our capital and attention goes towards helping our portfolio companies grow and scale their sales and marketing organizations. So we know firsthand the many challenges that marketers face, especially when marketing directly to consumers.
As paid social advertising platforms have matured, they have become efficient at capturing a large percentage of the advertisers’ willingness to pay. In turn, companies are finding it difficult to maintain a reasonable customer acquisition cost (CAC). A certain set of criteria may work to get 50 customers, but it doesn’t scale to 500 or 5000 customers, and costs begin to skyrocket. Third party look-alike audiences try to solve this problem and provide scale to marketing operations, but often fail to live up to their promise and don’t allow for the kind of experimentation and learning that most data-driven marketing organizations desire.
These very struggles are why Origin is excited to announce its investment in Wove, a San Francisco-based software company, as part of a $9M Series A led by August Capital. Read more about the raise in TechCrunch and AdExchanger.
Wove’s software creates a data exchange between complimentary brands that target similar audiences, allowing them to safely exchange customer prospects in an effort to reduce acquisition costs. It allows brands to efficiently reach more potential customers while ensuring each party’s proprietary customer data is protected and anonymous. With Wove, a brand can establish hundreds of data partnerships with ease, peace of mind, and at dramatically lower cost. Companies no longer have to set up singular deals, trust the counterparty, or rely on ineffective third-party customer lists.
When we tell consumer companies about Wove, they all react the same way: “Yes, please introduce me!” and “we’ve done this a couple of times on our own, but it’s too much work.” The problem is real, and there are a number of essential features of Wove that are truly revolutionary, and worth highlighting more clearly:
- Ease of scale: There are no more legal obstacles or endless negotiation in establishing a relationship with another brand. It is as easy as each company clicking a button to opt in to a relationship.
- Defused data privacy concerns: The marketing audience is never shared with counterparties. Instead, companies are given the opportunity to send a campaign to that group and receive high level performance data and highly relevant potential customers in return.
- Network effects: Like LinkedIn, there is exponential growth in the value of a network as it grows (Metcalfe’s Law). This was apparent during our diligence when the network of Wove customers, and their respective “federations,” grew astronomically in just a few weeks.
Beyond the value of the product, team is also a crucial decision making factor for any early stage investment. Co-founders Alex Wasserman and Eddie Siegel are entrepreneurs we have known for a long time. In fact, Alex interned during business school with Origin Ventures’ partner Jason Heltzer nearly a decade ago. Founders having a lead investor that they know and trust is also of the utmost importance, as is having one geographically close to the company, which is why we’re excited to be partnering with San Francisco-based August Capital on this investment.
Without giving too much away, there are other marketing and partnership frontiers into which the company plans to expand. Wove is a perfect example of true innovation in marketing, not through overbearing software or “hot” concepts like AI and ML, but through identifying pain points and creating novel solutions to solve those problems. If you have a startup that is similarly trying to solve real problems – for marketers or any other piece of an organization – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you know a consumer marketer that is looking for a great way to grow their audience, email Wove at email@example.com.