Mobile Greeting Card Company Cleverbug Closes $6 Million Series A

Personalized greeting card company Cleverbug, whose CleverCards mobile app lets you customize cards using Facebook photos then share with friends either digitally or via postal mail, has raised an additional $6 million in Series A funding. The round was led by seed round investor Delta Partners. The funding comes at a time when the company has been scaling its service to reach new consumers across iOS, Android and web, and has expanded its product line of greeting cards and other photo gifts.

Others in the round include Enterprise Ireland, and mix of Irish, London and U.S.-based investors. To date, Cleverbug has raised $8 million in outside investment, the company says.

Last fall, Cleverbug rebranded its app under the new name “CleverCards,” adding also Android support, a new address book option called “CleverBook,” and new photo gift products, like photo calendars, holiday card packs, and customizable gift cards from retailers. The app has since been installed in over 150 countries worldwide, and connects with 75 print and logistics facilities to help manage its orders.

v202_howitworks-380x500However, the company declines to provide exact user numbers, actives or downloads. (AppData sees it as having a few thousand monthly active users, but this is an imprecise measurement). According to CEO Kealan Lennon, CleverCards users combined have now added 50 million friends and family to their address books.

What makes the app so “clever” (ha) is the way it allows users to customize their greeting cards. Plenty of mobile apps on the market today, including Red Stamp, Sincerely Ink, Shutterfly’s Treat, and others, let you create greeting cards using your own photos. But CleverCards lets you pull in photos from Facebook, too, and even offers premade cards that are automatically personalized using those Facebook photos. In my personal experience, its premade cards have been hit-or-miss, often pulling in the wrong photos for the occasion – but everyone’s experience will differ here. A lot of it depends on what photos you’ve shared on Facebook, and how well they’ve been tagged.

CleverCards can also remind you of friends’ upcoming birthdays and other special occasions, so you won’t forget to send out cards.

The print cards themselves sell for $2.99, and while the company doesn’t discuss revenue, Lennon says users are active, retention is high and users convert at a rate of 45%+. “Our users are sending over 2,000 cards per day and this has been rapidly growing,” he says, noting that month-over-month growth is now 400%. Last fall it was 300%, for comparison’s sake.

“In the last two weeks, we did not do less than 4,000 cards per day and were up to 7,000 on a couple of those days,” Lennon adds.

With the additional funding now in tow, Dublin-headquartered Cleverbug will work toward further expansion in the U.S. market. The company already has offices in Palo Alto, it’s worth noting. Today, there are 20 at Cleverbug, with only two in the U.S., but that will now change as the company plans to add 25 more jobs in 2014.

It will also continue to develop the product, and will work on partnering with more brands to aid in customer acquisition, as it’s doing now with American Kennel Club’s new online destination, WOOFipedia. Lennon says the company is talking to other large, global brands with a mainly female customer base who want to use its technology to tap into a highly personalized product on mobile – but one with deep integration into users’ social graphs. These partners want to monetize their user base through the sale of personalized cards, he explains.

In addition, Cleverbug will work to release more printed products to the market. “There’s a significant opportunity in the broader social gifting category with the Cleverbug technology, and we plan to roll these out throughout 2014,” says Lennon.