Atlas Venture has led a $2.25 million seed round in Button, a New York City-based startup focused on creating more efficient methods of finding and retaining customers for on-demand companies like Uber and Instacart. Other investors in the seed round included DCM, Greycroft Partners, Mesa+ and VaynerRSE along with angel investors Tim Kendall, head of product at Pinterest, Ray Rothrock, former partner at Venrock, Scott Kurnit, founder of about.com and Gary Fritz, former president of Expedia Partner Services Group.
Button, a NYC-based startup designed to create an acquisition and engagement toolset that will foster more efficient methods of acquiring and keeping customers for on-demand companies, announced today the closing of a $2.25 mm seed round. The round was led by Atlas Venture and included investments from DCM, Greycroft Partners, Mesa+, and VaynerRSE along with prominent angel investors in the technology industry. Angel investors include: Tim Kendall, Head of Product at Pinterest and formerly Head of Monetization at Facebook, Ray Rothrock, former Partner at Venrock, Scott Kurnit Founder of About.com, and Gary Fritz, Former President of Expedia Partner Services Group.
With the advent of on-demand services – and the growing popularity of companies like Uber, Instacart, Handybook, and others – Button will seek to become a platform to help propel these businesses forward from hyper-growth with early adopters to a mass market scale and realization. It will ultimately empower and propel Button’s on-demand brand partners by creating more loyal customers and quicker acquisition cycles.
“Acquisition budgets are reaching unsustainable levels, and retention technology is a time-consuming burden for companies to build and implement properly, sometimes taking years,” says Co-founder and CEO of Button, Michael Jaconi. “We’ve created a platform that will empower partners to acquire users more affordably, while also realizing the benefits of an enterprise level loyalty program with less than a day of implementation time required. As competition in the On-Demand world heats up, these companies are going to need tools to retain their best users and differentiate themselves from their competition. Button will provide that.”
Michael Jaconi, formerly with Rakuten, has assembled a team of industry experts to capitalize on the explosion of on-demand services. Jaconi has teamed up with Mike Dudas from Google Wallet and most recently, Paypal/Braintree/Venmo, Chris Maddern, former head of Mobile from Venmo, and Tanner Hackett from Rocket Internet, Siddhartha Dabral from AKQA, and Stephen Milbank previously with Goldman Sachs.
In addition to retention technology, Button will also provide a traffic generation platform to help mobile apps acquire new, highly qualified users via a cross-app promotional model. There are many complementary apps, such as hotel booking and car services, which have begun to run cross-promotions. Button can automate this process, making it easier to scale promotions as well as glean insight on cross-app user behavior. Button has launched in private beta.
“Consumers are turning to on-demand services at a breathtaking pace, as evidenced by the rapid growth of services such as Uber, GrubHub Seamless, and HotelTonight,” says Ryan Moore, Partner at Atlas Venture. “With the growing ease and ubiquity of mobile commerce and the frequency that these models are facilitating – the opportunity to create value for companies competing in this space is massive. Button provides a suite of tools to these apps that help them stand out in a crowd and deliver an experience that consumers will love again and again.”
Button’s vision is to empower and propel the brands that represent the On-Demand economy. Button is creating an acquisition, activation, and engagement toolset that fosters higher lifetime values and creates more efficient methods of acquiring new consumers. Button has assembled an amazing team of entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of this new economy – the platform that is transforming our smartphones into remote controls we use to navigate and transact throughout our daily lives.
About Atlas Venture:
Atlas Venture is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in technology and life sciences companies. Since inception in 1980, its partners have helped build over 400 companies in more than 16 countries. Atlas Venture is currently investing from its ninth fund and manages more than $2 billion in capital. For more information, please visit http://www.atlasventure.com.