NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 5, 2016–
Influenster, the go-to product discovery and reviews platform, announced that it has closed an $8 million round of funding from Ebates, the pioneer and leader in online cashback shopping and subsidiary of the global Internet services company, Rakuten. Following this investment, Ken Hirschman, Ebates’ Vice President of Strategic Alliances, will join Influenster’s board of directors.
The funding will set Influenster on its trajectory towards becoming a full-fledged product discovery platform. Influenster offers its community of over 1.7 million socially-savvy members the opportunity to find new products and get advice to make informed purchases. Members do so via user-generated content in the form of reviews, photos, questions asked and answers given, editorial content such as articles and videos, product experiences in the form of social sampling and digital challenges, as well as coupons and offers that they discover along the way. Through these core offerings available on Influenster.com and its mobile app, Influenster offers users a seamless, immersive social experience that fully integrates products into their everyday lives.
“Marketers already understand the importance of earned and owned media over paid media,” said Aydin Acar, CEO and co-founder of Influenster. “With this round of financing, we are now able to laser-focus our mission to enhance our product discovery platform where social shoppers come to engage in discovery, conversations, reviews, and offers, while giving brands the opportunity to enter the conversation, populate the digital sphere with meaningful user-generated content, and become household names.”
“Ebates and Influenster have a unified vision of empowering shoppers with the best incentives, information and deals,” said Hirschman. “We look forward to working with the team at Influenster to provide shoppers with a richer and deeper online shopping experience.”
This round of financing marks Influenster’s first foray into attracting investments. The company has been profitable since its founding through the strength and efficiency of its business. Influenster now has a community of 1.7 million+ members who have written 6 million+ product reviews; it also currently acquires 500,000+ new user-generated reviews every month. Ebates’ funding will allow Influenster to scale and propel its growth strategies to meet today’s market demands for an all-encompassing product discovery platform.
Influenster is a product discovery platform and reviews site that enables consumers to find new products and get advice to make informed purchases. Members use Influenster to explore the latest products, gain fresh insight, pick up new tips, and share their opinions with others. We help our members compare products and guide them on how products can be integrated into their lives. We inspire a love for products and encourage discovery, conversations, and reviews.
The Influenster community of more than 1.7 million members is still rapidly growing. These product mavens with a heavy social media presence use their influence to spread the word about the products they know. Since the launch of Influenster review platform three years ago, over six million reviews have been created on more than one million products.
Headquartered in New York City, Influenster was founded by Elizabeth Scherle and Aydin Acar in 2010. For more information or to become an Influenster, visit: www.influenster.com.
Ebates rewards consumers with cash back on purchases while also providing access to thousands of coupons, discounts, promotions and special deals, including free shipping, at over 2,000 retailers. Free membership allows consumers to shop online at their favorite retailers while earning a percentage of every purchase they make, paid quarterly in the form of a “Big Fat Check” or through PayPal. From niceties to necessities, members of Ebates benefit from incentives at top-name merchants for everything from furniture to fashion and appliances to airfare. Because shopping with Ebates is hassle-free-no rebate forms to fill out and no points or miles to redeem-the site supports a strong community of savvy shoppers across the country and around the world. Founded in 1998 and acquired by Rakuten, Inc. in 2014, Ebates is headquartered in San Francisco.