LEHI, Utah, April 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Podium, the leading customer messaging platform for local businesses, today announced that it has raised a $125 million Series C round of funding led by YC Continuity with participation from Sapphire Ventures, Alkeon Capital, Recruit Co., Ltd., IVP, Accel, Summit Partners, and GV.
Podium launched in 2014 as a product to help local businesses get honest and timely online reviews. Since then, the company has developed an entire suite of messaging tools that allows any business with a physical location to conveniently interact with its customers. Podium's platform now supports customer messaging, mobile payments, webchat, online reviews, and customer feedback using messaging channels that customers actually use and trust. In just over five years, the Podium platform has been used by half of all smartphone owners in the United States to interact with a local business. Podium now has 45,000 businesses across the United States, Canada and Australia utilizing the platform, ranging from single-location SMB's to large enterprise companies with thousands of physical locations.
"Over the past five years, we have seen the fundamental way consumers interact with a local business change," said Eric Rea, co-founder and CEO of Podium. "This round of funding coincides with one of the largest events that has impacted and changed business in our lifetime. The digital transformation that was already taking place has been exponentially accelerated. We are putting this round to use to not only make this transition the most effective for these businesses during this period of time, but also to continue giving every local business the tools they need to grow and succeed moving into the future."
Along with the funding, Podium is announcing a cost-free version of its product, Podium Starter. This new basic package will allow businesses to interact with their customers and process contactless payments completely via messaging, which is both convenient for their customers while also filling a crucial need during periods of social distancing due to Covid-19. Initially rolling out via invitation, this offer will become available to every local business in the United States.
"YC and Podium have had a deep partnership ever since they were a part of our winter 2016 batch," said Ali Rowghani, CEO of YC Continuity. "Podium is unique in the fact that its market comprises almost every local business that we as consumers interact with on a daily basis. The company is modernizing the way we all reach out, interact, schedule, pay, and give feedback to our local businesses. When we had the opportunity to take a larger role in the growth of Podium and the positive change they are creating for the local economy, we were thrilled to partner in such a substantive way."
To request an invite to Podium Starter visit podium.com/starter.
Podium is a customer messaging platform that enables companies with a local presence to conveniently connect with their customers at critical touchpoints to help them strengthen their business. By conveniently facilitating millions of customer interactions, such as driving customer-generated online reviews and providing improved customer messaging tools, Podium serves more than 45,000 local businesses in the United States, Canada and Australia. Headquartered in Lehi, Utah, and founded in 2014, Podium is currently backed by YC Continuity, Sapphire Ventures, Alkeon Capital, Recruit Co. Ltd., IVP, Accel, Summit Partners and GV. To learn more, visit www.podium.com or contact us at [email protected].
Y Combinator is a startup fund based in Mountain View, CA. In 2005, Y Combinator developed a new model of startup funding. Twice a year they invest a small amount of money in a large number of startups. The startups move to Silicon Valley for 3 months, and the YC partners work closely with each company to get them into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors. Each batch culminates in Demo Day, when the startups present their companies to a carefully selected audience of investors. Y Combinator has invested in over 2,000 companies including Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, Instacart, Docker and Gusto. The combined valuation of YC companies is over $100B.