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© 2015, South Central Ventures

Recommend – The latest investment from South Central Ventures

South Central Ventures is leading Recommend’s Seed round alongside prominent US and European angel investors, to improve digital marketing performance for merchants and creators. The funds will be used to grow the company’s transactional volume by further building out its platform and expanding the team.

Even though the world of digital marketing is constantly evolving and expanding, the customer acquisition cost remains, especially when it comes to small businesses, rather high. According to research, online customer acquisition cost increased by 60% over the last five years. Businesses do have at their disposal various digital marketing campaigns and methods but in most cases, they are expensive and inefficient.

Recommend developed a digital platform that connects merchants and their customers through digitized word-of-mouth marketing, the most reliable form of marketing. Recommend digital platform is community-based, enabling end-users to share products they know, like, and trust among themselves.
On the other hand, merchants are provided with access to the online community of their customers on a platform that’s designed specifically for sharing recommendations of products and services. Moreover, they can use marketing tools to create campaigns to acquire new customers, which enables them to define their own customer acquisition cost.

When it comes to the end users, Recommend empowers them to save money and time when shopping online. Having social network components, Recommend end users can create an account, add friends and share recommendations. Users can rely on the recommendations of their internet community, which makes the platform a democratic, honest, reliable, and consumer-friendly virtual place.

„Digital marketing has developed immensely over the last decade, especially with new types of social media and new forms of collaborations in advertising. However, for many merchants, it became very expensive to advertise online. Customer acquisition cost increased over the years, and return on investment decreased”, stated Ivan Andabak, founder and CEO of Recommend.

„Besides that, consumers became overwhelmed with the number of digital ads they are exposed to on a daily basis. Considering there are a lot of reviewing methods that can, but also don’t have to be first-hand, it’s normal that consumers nowadays are cautious and reluctant. Recommend’s mission is to create a trustworthy digital marketplace that will help people choose what to buy and that will help businesses grow by decreasing customer acquisition cost”, added Andabak.
He also underlined that the funds invested by SCV will be used for further development of the product and to grow the team, as well as for scaling a business by opening new markets.

South Central Ventures Managing Partner Jure Mikuz said, „We’re excited to join Ivan and his team on his interesting journey. We believe there’s too much noise for an average online shopper when it comes to reviews and recommendations in e-commerce and therefore people rely more on the suggestions provided by their acquaintances and friends than on some generic information, the quality of which is sometimes questionable. Recommend is an agile team which has the ability of adapting to new market trends and I feel confident they will put a remarkable footprint in the marketing industry in the next few years.”

About Recommend Inc.
Recommend allows merchants to launch affiliate and referral programs seamlessly. The power of the marketplace allows customers and creators to find tailored products that they can use to share and earn rewards on conversion. The company uses data to provide tailored offerings for users and content creators based on interest and social graphs who are looking to monetize product recommendations. Recommend provides smooth integration with most of the CMS merchants including Woocommerce and Shopify.

About South Central Ventures
South Central Ventures is a VC investor with a long and enduring presence in the Balkans. Operating out of four offices – Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade, and Skopje – the team has invested in about 40 early-stage tech companies and has been an integral part of the local start-up community. With a strong base of international investors, South Central Ventures is a go-to-investor for regional tech companies competing in global markets. SCV’s portfolio companies include Cognism, AdScanner, Agrivi, Orgnostic, among others.