Last year we covered how “&Open” (yes, “ampersand open,” pronounced “And Open”) had raised a raised $7.2 million seed to make it easier for brands to send gifts to customers to boost loyalty and engagement. According to one study customers who feel emotionally connected to a brand after receiving gifts have a 306% higher lifetime value. &Open competes with Sendoso and ReachDesk, which are in a similar space.
Because the pandemic made us all work remotely, being able to send gifts remotely suddenly took on a whole new significance. Plus, now “the Great Resignation” means companies need to keep clients and employees a lot sweeter.
So the Dublin-based &Open, which launched in 2017, has now raised $26 million in a Series A led by Molten Ventures, including participation from First Round Capital, LocalGlobe, Tribal VC, as well as new investor Middlegame Ventures. Other new and existing investors also contributed to this round. The Series A brings &Open’s total capital raised to $33.2 million.
The company now has a presence in Ireland, the U.K, and the U.S., and plans to open an office in New York City in the next year.
Its clients include Airbnb, Peloton, Spotify, Hopin, Intercom, Wayflyer and BetterUp. It’s also launched &Open On-Demand for SMEs.
“Now, more than ever, companies are looking for ways to retain employees and foster real connections with customers and partners,” said Nicola McClafferty, partner at Molten Ventures in a statement. “Working with some of the largest global businesses and brands, &Open has proven that gifting, when done right, is an incredibly powerful tool to increase brand loyalty and build advocacy.”
The &Open On-Demand gifting marketplace will give SMEs the ability to gift more easily and a pay as they go model, unlike &Open’s Enterprise solution, which has an annual contract and SaaS fees.
“All companies gift — be it their employees, customers, prospects or partners. Companies gift because people power businesses and those relationships need to be nurtured. Today, more than ever, loyalty matters,” said Jonathan Legge, co-founder and CEO of &Open.