Shopping cart technology isn’t exactly the newest innovation around. But one young Seattle startup seems to have struck the right chord in terms of bridging the gap between social media, advertising and e-commerce.
Comr.se — pronounced “commerce” — just raised $780,000 of a seed round that remains undisclosed. The company, a recent graduate of the B2B incubator 9Mile Labs, helps brands power native transactions directly within social streams to reach the “connected consumer.”
Comr.se syncs with existing e-commerce services and then allows brands to connect with customers on sites where they spend most of their time, like a Twitter stream or Tumblr blog. “Sell everywhere your brand touches a consumer,” is one of the company’s taglines.
“Consumers don’t want to leave the environments they choose to be in,” said CTO and co-founder John Wantz. “Whether they are engaged in content on a news site, or checking up on friends in a social stream, in order for a brand to capture the opportunity with that consumer we needed to bring a full brand experience to the consumers in the environments they connect with brands.”
Comr.se also places a big focus on its back-end analytics data, which takes advantage of social data that can drive sales. This information helps companies with real-time marketing, geolocation trends, pricing optimization and matching products with specific customers, among other analytics categories.
The idea for Comr.se came after the four founders — Wantz, Jamie O’Shea, Brandon Schulz and Kyle Schei — spent several years running digital marketing engagements with big consumer brands. Those companies all wanted to know how to generate ROI with their social media and content marketing efforts.
“What we learned is that the work Comr.se is doing across leading e-commerce platforms to allow our customers to extend a full transaction-enabled and consumer-targeted storefront into social, mobile and advertising didn’t exist,” Wantz said. “That defined for us a highly valuable white space to pursue.”
The startup is similar to Chirpify, another social commerce platform out of Portland. Chirpify, though, focuses more using hashtags to help brands capitalize on instant, in-stream responses and transactions for social campaigns. The company also does not connect with e-commerce platforms.
Comr.se, which employs 13, has picked up customers like Obey Clothing, Dita Eyewear and U.S. Alterations with more to be announced soon. Investors behind the company are made up of angels from Seattle and San Francisco who have worked at or invested in companies like Facebook, Pinterest and Hootsuite.