Punchh, a leader in customer marketing solutions for physical retailers, announced it has raised $40 million in a Series C funding round led by Adams Street Partners and Sapphire Ventures, with AllianceBernstein also participating in the round. The new funding will be used to further augment Punchh’s AI capabilities as it expands into new verticals such as convenience stores and other physical retail segments. Robin Murray of Adams Street Partners will also join Punchh’s board.
As part of this expansion, Punchh also announced a partnership with Casey’s General Stores, Inc., a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest convenience store brands in the United States, operating 2,100 stores in 16 states throughout the Midwest.
“Consumers expect ubiquity of experiences online and off. In-store retail remains extremely popular and is one of the most powerful relationship building channels ever created. However, ecommerce has changed expectations for personalization so dramatically that marketers need to incorporate AI in order to remain competitive,” says Shyam Rao, CEO of Punchh. “Our platform gives retailers an unparalleled understanding of how customers engage with their brand in the real world, along with the ability to use that understanding to create AI-powered experiences that keep customers coming back for more.”
Punchh is the only marketing platform designed to drive same store sales for the physical retail experience. By integrating with existing point-of-sale and eCommerce systems, Punchh collects in-store and online customer data in real time to generate a 360 degree view of customers across the entire customer lifecycle. That lifecycle, powered by Punchh, brings people from “consumer” to “customer”, and from “customer” to “loyalist”. By applying Punchh’s proprietary AI to this customer data, brands can create and deliver personalized journeys, which allows retailers to distribute tailored offers to drive customer lifetime value.
“Punchh is the undisputed leader in this category. They work with the biggest brands, have the most sophisticated technology, and drive real results for their customers,” says Robin Murray, Partner at Adams Street Partners. “While everyone else got distracted by maximizing ecommerce, Punchh took the best technologies and practices from that space and applied them to physical retail. Now the world is coming back around - just look at Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods - and Punchh is already 10 steps ahead of the game.”
“Analysts predict ecommerce will account for just 10 percent1 of total retail sales in 2019, which means about 90 percent of transactions are still taking place in store,” said Jai Das, managing director, president and co-founder of Sapphire Ventures. “There’s tremendous opportunity in brick-and-mortar retail, and brands are looking for ways to better understand their customers and build data-driven relationships that translate into increased customer lifetime value. Punchh’s solutions allow retailers to do that in a highly scalable manner, which is why they’re trusted by so many leading brands, and why we’re so optimistic on their long-term growth.”
Nearly 200 global enterprise brands currently use Punchh’s solutions in more than 93,000 retail locations across the globe—including Yum! Brands, Denny’s and Casey’s: the company’s flagship convenience store customer.
“Punchh is exciting because they’re constantly pushing the boundaries of how retailers can leverage AI to enhance every step of the customer journey - from new customer acquisition to loyalist activation and beyond,” says Art Sebastian, Vice President of Digital Experience for Casey’s. “Brands need every edge they can get In today’s highly competitive retail climate, and Punchh delivers that edge by making advanced customer AI technology applicable to brick-and-mortar.”
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