with $50 million in funding to close the online to offline loop
We’ve been trying hard to keep Zenreach under wraps while building and scaling the company, but are excited to finally pull back the curtain and show you what we’re up to today.
At a macro level, Zenreach was created to solve one of the most important problems in the modern economy. The majority of our time is being spent online, yet over 90% of purchasing still happens offline — there is no link between the two systems. Brick and mortar merchants are working decades behind their online counterparts without essential data and tools, and we created Zenreach to give them the same level of technology and transparency that anyone operating online has come to expect.
From founding and running Milo.com, I became intimately aware of the online-to-offline opportunity. Customers were turning to the internet to find what to buy, but there was no great way to figure out their options for buying it locally. We showed them. But the one bridge we weren’t able to build before being acquired by eBay was solving the online-to-offline attribution problem, showing merchants the impact we were having on their offline sales. Since then, every shopper has a smartphone, and it’s become clear that these devices are the key to linking online and offline, finally giving brick and mortar merchants the metrics they need to succeed.
Zenreach’s first product is an elegant hardware-powered SaaS solution which merchants simply plug in. As people log into the new free WiFi hotspot we create, Zenreach automatically builds a customer list, differentiating between new, repeat, loyal customers, and lost customers. We fully automate just-in-time, relevant marketing for them and then report campaign success not by open rate or click-through rate, but as a new metric we’ve defined for the physical world — the walk-through rate.
Just like an e-commerce merchant cares most about website clicks that can lead to sales, brick and mortar merchants care about walk-ins, both on a one-time basis and a lifetime basis. Zenreach tells them whether their marketing causes customers to come back, how often, and how valuable that ultimately is to them so they can make smarter business decisions.
For consumers, Zenreach powers free WiFi at favorite local businesses. As data plans have become more expensive and limited while connectivity remains poor in many areas, Zenreach helps merchants justify offering free WiFi to customers and increases connectivity in cities across the world. Additionally, we hope this means consumers will be receiving fewer of those annoying spam promotional blasts and more relevant, exclusive free offers from favorite restaurants, bars, and stores.
While this may be the first time you’ve heard of Zenreach, we’ve been growing incredibly quickly behind the scenes. In a city like San Francisco, where we’re based, over one third of the population has already logged into our service. As a company, we’ve grown to over 150 employees in offices including San Francisco, Scottsdale, and Waterloo, Canada, all while growing revenues 7.5X year over year.
We’re excited to announce today that we’ve raised a total of $50 million from incredible investors including Founders Fund, 8 VC, Bain Capital Ventures, First Round Capital, Felicis Ventures, SoftTech VC, and SV Angel. This includes a $30 million Series B round led by Peter Thiel at Founders Fund, who has joined our board. I’m really looking forward to working with Peter, Joe Lonsdale and our other great investors.
“It’s great to partner with Jack in a space he’s been thinking about for so long. Online merchants rely on sophisticated analytics and marketing campaigns to attract customers. Zenreach levels the playing field for brick and mortar businesses by arming them with equally powerful tools.” — Peter Thiel, Partner at Founders Fund.
“One of our favorite parts of our work at 8VC is getting to work with entrepreneurs like Jack and the talented leaders at Zenreach. They are creating an important data platform that’s sweeping across our economy; we’re excited to see Zenreach bring old pen-and-paper processes in millions of businesses into the 21st century and help to retain and attract customers.” — Joe Lonsdale, Partner at 8 VC.
Using this capital to grow, we will continue to empower merchants with the platform and technology to succeed in this modern age. We will be aggressively growing our team, extending our product offering to new verticals, executing on our long-term product roadmap and expanding internationally. This is just the first inning for us and we can’t wait to share more with you as we continue along this journey!
Jack Abraham, Founder of Zenreach