Zurich-based Experify, a platform for potential buyers to meet local brand owners and get honest reviews and a quick try-it-out, announced on Tuesday that it has raised $4M (approximately €3.69M) in a Seed round of funding.
Experify says it will use the funds to scale and meet the growing customer demand by increasing its headcount, specifically on the sales and product engineering teams. Following the recent addition of a Head of Sales, Experify’s senior leadership team will also grow to include a Head of Engineering.
The company will also focus on expanding its customer base and further developing the platform to expand its network of brands that use Experify.
The round was led by Vertex Ventures US, with the participation of Sonae Investment Management and the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund.
In Sik Rhee of Vertex Ventures US, says, “We chose to lead Experify’s Seed round because we share the founders’ vision to create trusted communities of loyal consumers. Experify is pioneering the natural evolution of consumer marketing beyond user-generated content, giving brands a valuable opportunity to engage with their current and future customers, creating an entirely new market. There’s currently no easy way for brands to connect genuinely with consumers so we believe the time is right and we’re thrilled at the opportunities ahead.”
Vertex Ventures US is an early-stage VC firm that backs technology companies transforming industries through software and data. The firm was founded in 2015 by In Sik Rhee and Jonathan Heiliger. Some of the companies Vertex US has backed include LaunchDarkly, PerimeterX, and Desktop Metal.
A review experience platform built on real-life trust
Currently, there are a lot of unverified online reviews, which could make consumers feel uncertain about their purchasing decisions, and as a result, brands can’t establish trust with new and prospective customers. This is where Experify looks to make a change.
Founded in 2020 by Nicolas Beck, Niklas Etzel, and Rene Pfitzner, Experify’s platform connects prospective buyers to real purchasers in their community, enabling them to speak with a genuine owner or even test out the product in question in person. This makes buyers feel confident of making purchases after having first-hand experience or hearing an honest review from someone who knows the product best.
Experify mentions in a statement that authentic, high-quality review experiences have proven to be influential in purchasing decisions. Since the company’s inception, it claims to have consistently shown significant increases in lead conversion rates for participating brands.
Rene Pfitzner says, “Our vision for Experify is to completely change the way that consumers buy products and evaluate online businesses through an authentic, scalable word-of-mouth experience. Over the last year, we’ve helped a variety of great companies activate their community of customers like never before.”
The company believes that nearly any product or service can benefit from introducing Experify to their customer experience, particularly companies that sell high-consideration or high-cost goods such as indoor/outdoor furnishings, HiFi audio equipment, electric vehicles, and more.