STELLAService, a customer service ratings provider for online retailers, is today announcing that it has raised $5 million in series A financing. The round was led by Battery Ventures, with participation from returning investors DFJ Gotham Ventures and RRE Ventures, as well as newcomer Forerunner Ventures.
Founded in 2009, STELLAService aims to help online shoppers make more informed purchasing decisions, while in turn providing online retailers with customer service data and insight as well as marketing services. Since April of this year, the number of retailers using the service has grown tenfold. Zappos, 1800Flowers, Wine.com, 1800Contacts, Gilt Groupe, and GNC are among the customers now displaying STELLA’s “seal of approval”.
To provide customers with a better sense of just how customer-service-friendly the retailers they patronize are, STELLAService goes out and does a little shopping itself. It pays for the products made by the companies it analyzes, using its staff of analysts to complete a thorough evaluation of the products and customer service offered by the makers of those products.
The analysts collect data and test the experience at all levels of the company’s online shopping experience, at which point they create a rating for the business, ranging from “elite” to, well, not so elite. The ratings are then posted on the site for all to see.
Those companies that receive “elite” or “excellent” ratings get the STELLA stamp of approval and can show that off to their returning and would-be customers alike.
The company said that it will use the capital to aggressively grow the business, build out its team
and ramp up product development. STELLAService raised a $2 million seed round in March of this year, bringing total investment to just north of $7 million.