G2 Crowd, which collects and publishes business products reviews, announced today funding of $30 million led by Accel.
The Chicago-based startup collects reviews from verified users on more than 25,000 products, which range from content management tools like Google Drive and Dropbox to ecommerce solutions like PayPal and Stripe.
But unlike other review websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, not everyone can post on G2 Crowd. “Every review is checked by a human being for quality and we use a LinkedIn login to verify that the reviewer is real, not a company employee or a competitor,” wrote cofounder and CEO Tim Handorf, in an email to VentureBeat. “To date, we have rejected more than 23,000 reviews.” A total of 230,000 verified users have posted more than 170,000 reviews on the website, according to Handorf.
The chief executive is adamantly against paid placements or requests to take down unflattering reviews. “Companies cannot influence our ratings, data, or research,” he wrote. “The only way they can influence the ratings is by building great products and taking great care of their customers.”
Companies can, however, purchase a subscription to add additional content to their company profile page, license G2 Crowd reports for marketing purposes, or use consumer feedback as market intelligence. Handorf claims to have more than 800 such customers.
LinkedIn joined Accel as a new investor in today’s round. Pritzker Group Venture Capital and G2 Crowd’s founders also participated as returning investors. The new capital will be used to further develop the service. “We plan to grow to millions of reviews across tens of thousands of products and services,” wrote Handorf.
Founded in 2012, G2 Crowd has raised a total of $45 million to date and currently has 95 employees.