By Chris Moore
Today I am excited to announce that Redpoint is leading a Series A investment in Button, the commerce enablement platform built for the mobile app economy. We are proud to support Mike Jaconi and an outstanding founding team. With their deep knowledge of the mobile commerce space and their combined engineering and operational talents, this team has a unique competitive advantage.
The emerging market for mobile app commerce is evolving rapidly and Button sits at the center of some of the most interesting challenges in tech right now. As I wrote about previously, Facebook is on a $6.5B run rate on mobile and Apple and Google app stores are each on $10B+ run rates. Uber, the mobile commerce icon and early Button partner, is rumored to have done $1.5–2B in revenue last year.
Yet this is just the tip of the iceberg. The smartphone has the potential to become the remote control for getting anything done with just a swipe or a tap, and unleash a tidal wave of commerce in the process. But there are still many challenges left to address to make this a reality. The market opportunity for players who can solve these problems and accelerate mobile app commerce is significant.
App discovery, and increasingly re-engagement, remain the largest friction points constraining mobile commerce. There are over two million apps available to download on iOS and Android, yet only about a quarter of US mobile users download more than 1 app per month. It is increasingly difficult for app developers to rise above the noise and acquire users, and then re-engage these users over time.
Even in its early days Button’s product has proven incredibly useful to helping solve that challenge with partners like Uber and Resy. Button is building out an in-app distribution network for mobile on-demand commerce apps to enable DeepLink commerce. Put more simply, Button helps app developers drive traffic, engagement and transactions within other apps. They do this by leveraging native button-like placements and a combination of deep commerce integrations and cross-app loyalty. In doing so, Button converts app functionality into monetization, and introduces a new, native mobile “ad” format that we’ve been waiting for.
Button’s initial integration is with the startup reservation service Resy. After a consumer books a table, a prompt allows the user to set up a reminder to book an Uber right before the time of the reservation. If the user does not have the Uber app, it is downloaded seamlessly in the background. This integration is a great channel for Uber to acquire new users and reengage existing ones, while also enabling Resy to provide a richer user experience and monetize its existing audience. Uber + Resy is just one of the many integrations that Button will enable.
Within mobile, we think most of the purchase intent for these commerce apps will be generated within other apps, but this intent is not being adequately captured today. Button is enabling a new channel for user acquisition and engagement, one that will allow apps to more closely connect together and provide the most seamless user experiences on mobile.
Most importantly, here at Redpoint, we make bets on people and we are proud to back Mike as he builds Button into a company that matters to our mobile first economy. It also just happens that Mike meets the criteria of a successful founding CEO that I previously wrote about here. He saw the market opportunity for Button when he was working at Rakuten where he gained up close, first-hand knowledge and understanding of the opportunity. He has the gift of passion and persuasion. And he is relentless in his focus on execution.
Welcome to the Redpoint family Mike and the Button team!