Investment Led by Talis Capital, with Participation by Forerunner Ventures and Y Combinator
New Marketing Platform Connects Retailers and Brands with Their Superfans
San Francisco – June 6, 2019 – At a time when many consumers are losing trust in influencers and blocking traditional online ads, Zyper – a new marketing platform that connects brands with their superfans to drive engagement, insights and sales – announced today that it has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding. This financing round, which brings Zyper’s total funding to date to $8.5 million, was led by Talis Capital, with participation from Forerunner Ventures and Y Combinator.
Zyper’s software uses computer vision and natural language processing to source the top 1% of a brand’s biggest fans and leverage them as brand advocates rather than as paid influencers. These superfans provide a constant stream of trusted, user-generated content (UGC) that sparks conversation and boosts sales while unearthing new product and purchase insights. Banana Republic, Coty, Nestlé and Topshop are among the companies already using Zyper to build communities of loyal brand fans.
Zyper was founded by Amber Atherton, a successful entrepreneur who has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and the Vogue 100 Power List, who said, “Storytelling and transparency have become paramount for brands as consumers look to engage with them in a more authentic and unfiltered way. Zyper is creating an entirely new category of community-based brand advocacy that will drive sales and surface significant consumer insights. We’re thrilled to partner with this prestigious group of investors, who will be instrumental in helping us bring our platform to even more companies seeking true brand advocates.”
“We are excited to partner with Amber and her team as Zyper gives a voice to real brand fans instead of traditional paid influencers,” said Kirill Tasilov at Talis Capital. “Zyper is on a path to become a transformational company that enables brands to identify and collaborate with their superfans across a number of social media channels. The platform improves the quality, scalability and efficiency of community marketing by allowing brands to track and manage their fans automatically using advanced machine-learning models. Advertising as we know it is over and we’re proud to back this next-level technology.”
Zyper will use the new funds to open its headquarters in San Francisco, to continue to develop its predictive analytics engine and recommendation system algorithms, and to scale up its engineering and sales teams. Concurrently, Zyper announced that it has appointed Lauren Pye as Executive Director of Sales. Pye previously served as president of Festicket and as VP of Sales, North America, at Live Nation Entertainment.
Nicole Johnson, Investor at Forerunner Ventures, whose portfolio companies include Alchemy 43, Glossier and Warby Parker, said, “Brands are looking to engage online with consumers in an authentic, grassroots sort of way. Zyper’s community-building platform is at the forefront of peer-to-peer marketing. It allows brands to connect with people who were already their fans, who then share the brand’s story with friends in a genuine way.”
Zyper is a peer-to-peer-marketing software platform that enables brands to leverage their most loyal customers as a new marketing force. The platform uses technologies such as computer vision, natural language processing and predictive analytics to identify the top 1% of a brand’s most loyal fans, who create authentic brand-related content to share with their own communities, ultimately driving brand engagement, insights and revenues. Founded by entrepreneur Amber Atherton in 2017, Zyper is enabling beauty, apparel, footwear, and food and beverage companies around the world to connect with their superfans and build communities around them.
About Talis Capital
Talis Capital is a venture capital investment firm that takes smart money from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and business people and invests it strategically in early-stage technology companies with global potential. Talis has invested over $500 million worth of transactions since 2009 and the portfolio includes Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, Ynsect and Oh My Green. Focused on building long-term partnerships, Talis leverages its network to give some of the world’s most innovative startups opportunity to thrive. For more, see www.taliscapital.com.
About Forerunner Ventures
Forerunner Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm dedicated to partnering with ambitious entrepreneurs who are meeting the challenges and opportunities of today’s rapidly evolving consumer and business landscape. The Forerunner team uniquely pairs deep domain expertise and an understanding of consumer behaviors, brand building, and product to successfully identify leaders and participate in their efforts to build meaningful companies. Representative investments include Dollar Shave Club, Glossier, Chime, Warby Parker, Away, Curology, Ritual, Faire, Attabotics, and Hims. For more information visit www.forerunnerventures.com.
About Y Combinator
Y Combinator (YC) is a startup fund and program. Since 2005, YC has invested in 2,000 companies, which have a combined valuation of $100B. YC supports founders throughout the life of their company. Startup School teaches the basics of starting a company. The YC batch program helps founders build their product, talk to their customers, and raise angel funding. Work at a Startup makes it easy for founders to find their first employees. YC Series A helps founders launch their fundraising round. YC Growth Program provides founders with resources to scale their companies and hire an executive team. YC Continuity invests in their later stage rounds. Y Combinator was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with batches taking place in Mountain View.
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Danielle Poggi/Michael McMullan