Mobile promotions startup Shopmium has announced a $5.6M Series B from Ventech as well as previous investors Accel Partners & ISAI. Founded in September 2011 by Eli Curetti, Quentin de Chivré and Philippe Cantet, the startup previously raised $2.1M from Accel & ISAI in order to connect shoppers and their mobile phones, and it seems they’ve had some success so far. Concretely, the startup ran nearly 150 campaigns for big name brands like l’Oréal, Nestlé & Pepsi, as well as more innovative brands like Innocent (of which Philippe Cantet is former CEO and founder in France) Tyrrell’s, Michel & Augustin, Too Good & many, many more.
Last year, I wrote a piece about the rise of mobile shopping in France, in which Shopmium played a big role; however, it seems that they have learned quite a lot about their relationship with brands as well as consumers – they aren’t just another digital shopping list and e-couponing app anymore. Today, Shopmium enables advertisers to promote their product through a targeted media approach that delivers a mobile coupon to consumers. While the consumer-facing side still resembles a digital shopping assistant like Prixing, they have positioned themselves in a business line much more similar to AppsFire or other app recommendation services, relying on pre-existing discounts and consumer needs, complemented with their own targeted marketing campaigns.
With the company planning to solidify their position in France as well as launch internationally, I asked CEO Eli Curetti the following:
What value-added do you have for clients by being international? That is to say, it seems like the food/beauty/health industries are largely regional/national-based in their marketing, so are your clients looking for a digital marketing channel that will span across multiple markets?
“Although marketing budgets are very often local, marketing teams work together globally. This is especially true when sharing best practices, especially on innovative solutions like Shopmium. Furthermore, there is a very compelling business case to expand Shopmium to new locations. There are few (if any) mobile promotion system that has Shopmium’s track record with more than 140 successful campaigns and reference case studies with every bluechip company in FCMG. When expanding to new locations, we will be able to leverage our proven technology, our client case studies and relationship, and our marketing know-how.”
By combining the ability to measure the ROI of custom coupons with the targeted nature of mobile phones, Shopmium has potentially positioned themselves as “the mobile enabler for 360‐degree marketing plans,” as Curetti puts it.
Ventech has been picking up its investment pace in the recent months following its 75M€ round closing – they are wasting no time getting that injected into great companies. Speaking with Ventech founder Alain Caffi, I asked him what about Shopmium got Ventech excited.
“Ventech has a large exposure in premium content publishing and advertising. As advertising is switching digital we expect as well more efficient and sophisticated media planning, mobile promotion being obviously part of it. So we met with many companies in the mobile promotion and shopping space and have been convinced that Shopmium has the right approach, offering a “media app with coupons” rather than a “couponing app”, thus giving brands both premium visibility and performance combining drive to store and couponing. We have also been very impressed by the metrics achieved so far and by the level of experience of the Shopmium team so we are confident that the company will scale up rapidly locally and internationally thanks to this distinctive approach and a perfect execution.”
The team itself is packed with entrepreneurial experience. CEO Eli Curetti founded & sold screen-capturing service ScreenToaster to Veodia in 2009, and seemingly simultaneously built up travel site Planetanoo which he sold to PriceMinister (now Rakuten Group), where he served as CEO of their A Vendre A Louer portal. Co-founder Philippe Cantet was the MD of France for Innocent Drinks, and worked at McKinsey and Danone prior to that. And CTO Quentin de Chivré worked for nine years at Priceminister as Director of Product Engineering.