Group Commerce Gets Their First Round of Funding Worth $8M

Group Commerce, a company that was founded by former Google and DoubleClick executives David Rosenblatt, Jonty Kelt, and Andrew Glenn, has successfully raised $8 million in Series A funding. This round was participated in by Lerer Media Ventures, Bob Pittman, Spark Capital, and Carmel Ventures.

Here’s what their CEO Jonty Kelt has to share about the company in a recent e-interview with Lead411:

Who are your competitors and how are you different from them?

Others offering white-label group buying solutions include NimbleCommerce, Tippr, Analog Analytics and Chompon. Our differentiation begins with our platform, which is a best-in-breed publisher CMS – there’s really nothing else like it out there – that lets publishers easily implement and administrate a full-service group buying program. Additionally, we have a unique process that ensures our merchant customers get matched up with the right publishers, so that products move, and everyone benefits. And finally, our prospects – through our connections and our pipeline – are very strong, and will let us to continue to grow and expand our team and capabilities.
What’s essential in this space is making sure that you have all of the pieces – again, the right people, platform, process, and prospects. Our people – drawn from top-notch companies like Google/DoubleClick, Gilt Groupe, and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM – bring critical expertise from fields such as marketing, merchandising, and engineering.
What percentage of your marketing budget are spent on the following? / 3. What marketing tactic has given you the highest ROI?  What percentage ROI do you get back on this?

Apologies, but we can’t disclose our budget allocations. But I can tell you that we’re spending the vast majority of our time/effort on product, not marketing.

What do you plan to spend your new funding on?  Product development?  Marketing?

Right now, our team is focused on continuing to develop our product and connecting with new customers. I’m thrilled to be working with a talented, experienced group of people who know this space, and are committed to our clients.

If this is your first round of financing and you’re the CEO, how many hours did you put into working on getting your financing?  Was that taking up the most of your day?

It certainly didn’t happen overnight! Mostly, given our team and background, it was about finding the right fit – our investors, including Bob Pittman, Spark Capital, Carmel Ventures, and Lerer Ventures – have an impressive investment track record, and we’re thankful for their support.

If you are the CEO, what are your biggest challenges?

I think our biggest challenge, at present, is really educating publishers on the opportunity that exist for them in this market. It’s outside of the comfort zone of some of them, but we’re really seeing a lot of receptivity, particularly now that we’ve launched with some more “traditional” publishers like The New York Times, Meredith Corporation, and others.

How many employees do you have?

We currently have 35 employees in New York, Chicago, Florida, San Francisco and Los Angeles. We are planning to grow to 100 employees by the end of the year with the majority being sales people.

When were you founded?


How much did you revenue increase(if any) this year over last year?

As a privately-held company, we do not disclose our financials – I can tell you, however, that our customers have been enjoying extremely strong returns-on-investment, and that we’re in the process of bringing on new customers presently.
Want to know more about their most recent funding? Check out this news link.

About Christine Guinto

Christine Guinto is our part-time writer for the Lead411 Blog. She specializes in our funding news. You can contact her at christine [at] Christine Amos on Google+!