But back in the fall, a Fortune 20 customer asked the firm if his team would be able to invest in their product offering as intensely as some of the firm’s competitors that had taken funding.
“We felt we could, but we realized from optics standpoint — from the outside — the optics are different,” he told Technical.ly. “It was eye-opening for me. We started taking calls and we were fortunate some folks were interested, and we were able to select one that aligns with us.”
The company recently took a strategic investment from Chicago-based private equity firm Longshore Capital Partners, it announced Tuesday. Neither party is disclosing financial details of the deal, but it will be used to add to the company’s roughly 130-person headcount and to grow aggressively in the future, following its first acquisition last year (which Pfau said likely won’t be the company’s last).
Stuzo’s tech aims to make everyday payments easier and help retailers like Dave & Buster’s and Sunoco drive more loyal customers to their brick and mortar stores by combining enterprise, customer and commerce data on one platform.
They consider the deal a strategic investment because Longshore now owns a controlled interest in the company, Pfau said. Ryan Anthony, a cofounder and partner of Longshore, said the firm was attracted to the company’s team, “maniacal focus” on business outcomes, its growing portfolio of retail partners and differentiated technology.
“We are particularly excited about the differentiated value proposition delivered by Stuzo’s Wallet Steering System, which has proven to help retailers profitably grow share of customer wallets via Stuzo’s unique combination of its Open Commerce product suite, Know and Activate Method, and supporting Managed Services,” Anthony said in a statement.
The investment is a brighter look for the company, which Pfau said last year had to cut salaries to retain employees at the start of the pandemic. In December, those salaries were reinstated back to their full amount, and the company has added employees in recent months.
The company also has about 15 or 20 open positions to fill in engineering, and product design in relation to making some updates the platform’s software stack. Pfau said he doesn’t anticipate the company will raise further rounds of capital after this deal.
“We’re excited about the growth and strategic opportunities ahead with our new partners at Longshore,” Pfau said in a statement. “Stuzo is doubling down on helping retailers steer a greater share of customer wallets to their brand. By intelligently activating data that flows through our unified loyalty, payments, and cross channel customer experience technology, we are uniquely positioned to drive greater, deterministic business outcomes at scale.”-30-