If you follow our VC Roundup, you may have noticed something strange a few weeks back. The long dormant Snipi suddenly raised $2.5 million and seemed back from the dead. Except it wasn’t.
Snipi, the Evernote-like application that allowed users to collect and organize web content, had pivoted to become Sidecar, an automated marketing tool for e-commerce companies.
“We’re building a system that helps e-commerce companies leverage a lot more information than what the average worker can handle on a day-to-day basis,” says Founder Andre Golsorkhi.
Basically, he says, e-commerce sites often have to manage search engine marketing, on-site personalization, email personalization and other aspects of their business by constantly monitoring metrics and adjusting the campaigns accordingly. Sidecar automates the process so the site can worry about the big picture stuff.
“Many retailers can’t afford to operate all of the different systems at once. Rather than having teams of people or multiple agencies use all of these tools, we made a platform that can manage these aspects for the retailers,” he says.
The result is a dashboard where companies can monitor campaigns and tweak as needed and the product is just preparing for primetime after nearly a year of development. The first commercial beta of Sidecar launched in September 2010 with its full public launch in April 2011.
So far, the pivot is working. The company has raised $2.5 million dollars in venture capital money in August to help expand its current 12-employee workforce and Snipi has been rolled into Sidecar. Sidecar’s business model relies on taking performance-based percentages from sales resulting in marketing conducted by Sidecar.
“Our core principle is automation. We want to remove the necessity for people to do the knuckle-bleeding work. With this funding we hope to add additional components like social media or affiliate marketing,” says Golsorkhi who added that the company will hire three more employees to be based out of its Gayborhood offices at 13th and Sansom.
“There’s minutia that has to be done every day that bogs down the team, in some shops even the owner is actively involved. We want them to get to the more creative and strategic work.”
Philadelphia and e-commerce
Philadelphia is evolving into a small but thriving home for e-commerce companies and vendors. A look at a few that we’ve covered recently:
- Lamps.com, the Old City lighting provider.
- Monetate, a tool to help e-commerce companies with testing.
- QVC, the now-ubiquitous shopping network is one of Monetate’s bigger customers and was originally funded by Safeguard Scientifics and Internet Capital Group.
- Revzilla, the South Philly-based motocross online retailer.
- And the big fish, GSI Commerce which sold to eBay for $2.4 billion.
- WebLinc, the web development firm that focuses on e-commerce.
Knowledge is power!
Subscribe for free today and stay up to date with news and tips you need to grow your career and connect with our vibrant tech community.