Why wrap, sign, and send hundreds of gifts to clients when a third-party outfit could do it for you? That’s the idea behind corporate gifting startups like Sendoso, which source those sales, marketing, customer success, and holiday swag and track return on investment. Such companies are gunning for a slice of a segment that’s worth an estimated $125 billion, according to Knack.
Still, it’s a nascent industry with plenty of room for growth, which is perhaps why Boston-based gifting platform Alyce is gearing up for expansion. Alyce today announced that it’s raised $11.5 million in series A financing led by Manifest, with participation from General Catalyst, Boston Seed Capital, Golden Ventures, Morningside, and Victress Capital. CEO and cofounder Greg Segall says the fresh capital, which brings the company’s total raised to over $15 million, will accelerate its sales, marketing, and customer success efforts.
Current customers include Marketo, Lenovo, Yesware, Invision, Verizon, Fuze, and Bronto. In the coming months, Alyce anticipates that it’ll hire on 50 new people in its Boston headquarters and an additional 50 within the next year.
“If target accounts matter, then our truly personal approach to direct mail and swag at scale moves the pipeline needle,” said Segall, who founded Alyce in 2015. “Marketers no longer have to settle for a persona-based, spray-and-pray approach. Now their direct mail and swag channels can operate at the person-to person level. It saves time and wasted marketing dollars.”
Alyce hosts a marketplace of over 30,000 physical products, experiences, subscription services, prepaid cards, direct donations, and other gift categories, which its proprietary AI algorithms optionally filter based on the recipients’ interests. Alyce notes that it’s one of the few that lets clients clients give philanthropic gifts, and says that charitable donations already make up more than 10% of its redeemed gifts.
Alternatively, Alyce’s clients can opt for its Swag Select service, which autonomously engages brand fans and advocates by letting them choose from one of several premium gifts.
From Alyce’s cloud dashboard, customers can create notes to go along with curated gifts and track deliveries until they’re validated. (Alyce claims it has a 96% delivery rate.) And with built-in reporting and analytics tools, admins can track campaign metrics like conversion rate, revenue and pipeline influence, and gift status.
Alyce also integrates with Salesforce, allowing managers to send gifts to influencers in their accounts, for instance, while staying within budget.
“Alyce helps organizations augment their sales outreach and get the attention of prospective customers quickly,” said Will Pringle, VP of worldwide marketing and demand generation at Fuze. “Alyce can be fully integrated into Salesforce.com, which makes tracking its effectiveness easy. It’s also an excellent complement to our marketing strategy as it allows our sales and marketing teams to progress prospects through the funnel and have meaningful interactions.”