Now that a lot of transactions take place in e-commerce, tapping into the community is something merchants are finding is a necessity to continue engaging with customers.
However, that community can live in a bunch of different places online, and Archive is working to harness that community, wherever it is, and provide insights on how the merchant can use that data to grow.
We first caught up with company co-founders Paul Benigeri and Geoffrey Woo last November when the company announced a $4 million seed round led by Stripe. At the time, Archive was going public with its technology aimed at connecting databases and distribution channels so they talk to each other.
Its first products were a Shopify app that automatically detects, classifies and saves Instagram stories relating to a brand, and Archive Communities, which makes influencer marketing programmatic so that brands can more quickly scale their community-building efforts.
Since coming out of beta with fewer than 50 customers, Archive closed January with more than 500 customers, and Woo told TechCrunch that the company’s goal is to reach 1,000 by the end of the first quarter. Its app was also the No. 1 trending app on Spotify the first week it was launched.
“We are the first Shopify app to do automatic archival and classification of Instagram stories,” said Woo, who is the company’s chairman. “Just this simple tool has saved a lot of time for merchants, and from that angle, we become the primary interface with marketers to start their workflow.”
Four months later, the company also attracted attention from Tiger Global and Human Capital, which co-led Archive’s latest $8 million seed extension. Battery Ventures, Anti Fund, Red Antler and 305 Ventures also participated in the round, as did a group of individual investors, including Brex COO Michael Tannenbaum, Extend co-founder Rohan Shah and Alloy Automation CEO Sara Du.
This gives Archive a $100 million post-money valuation and brings its total funding amount to $12 million since the company was founded in March 2021, Woo said.
The company was not planning to raise so soon, given that it had just come out of stealth mode and was working to get the company’s story out there, Woo said. However, with merchants struggling with customer acquisition, especially through platforms like Facebook, demand for help in this area grew quickly.
“We’ve always had interest given our background and speed of growth,” Woo added. “We thought it was smart to build out our cap table with Tiger, Human Capital and angels. It is a healthy step up from the initial round led by Stripe and puts us in a strong position to invest in our technology and platform.”
Woo plans to invest the new capital into tripling the technical team of engineers and designers. The company has nearly 10 full-time roles it is looking to fill and is also considering its first full-time marketer and business operation positions.
Woo is a computer scientist by trade and says the company wants to build out the automation and pipes so that customers can focus more on their creative and messages that resonate with their consumers.
It also rebranded to Archive.com and will start a content platform and acquire conferences and newsletters to be a first mover in terms of what the future of marketing should look like. And, as it continues to build out the category of community marketing, it is looking at new areas, like how the changing of privacy settings, web3 and cryptocurrency are affecting audiences.
“Marketing is not top-down anymore, it is bottom-up and all the software, processes and workflow don’t exist for that new wave of marketing,” Woo said. “We are helping provide the automation and software to power the next generation of marketing, which is community marketing.”