PR Newswire | January 12, 2024
Rokt, the leading ecommerce technology company using machine learning and AI to make transactions more relevant to each shopper, today announced it has agreed to acquire AfterSell, a Shopify and Shopify Plus partner that helps ecommerce merchants upsell and cross-sell. Through the acquisition, Rokt will strengthen its SMB offering and expand its client portfolio to more than 20,000 SMB merchants, while giving them access to the same network and powerful AI technology built for large enterprises. The transaction is expected to close by February 1, 2024. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition will build on Rokt's own Shopify app, Rokt Ecommerce, which leading merchants such as BlendJet and True Classic use to unlock additional revenue and provide a more relevant shopping experience to their customers. Rokt Ecommerce optimizes the checkout process, from the cart to confirmation page, and deepens brands' customer relationships by presenting highly relevant offers to each shopper during the transaction moment.
AfterSell enables Shopify merchants to increase sales with personalized cart, checkout and post-purchase upsells. Brands including Good American, KitchenAid, HexClad, Miami Heat and Bloom Nutrition use AfterSell to increase AOV and customer retention. The AfterSell product offering also includes UpCart, a fully featured cart drawer specifically designed to increase AOV and reduce cart abandonment. Rokt will further invest in its SMB Shopify offering by combining the complete capabilities of AfterSell and UpCart with the existing Rokt Shopify app to build a more robust product for merchants. AfterSell was co-founded by Armon Shokravi, Dhruv Patel, Landon Fuhr and Varun Kundra in 2019.
"AfterSell has built a brilliant roster of SMB clients on Shopify and has garnered hundreds of five-star reviews from merchants, which is a testament to how well it delivers," said Bruce Buchanan, CEO of Rokt. "This acquisition strengthens our competitive advantage by enabling us to better serve SMB customers and provide access to advertisers that aren't typically available to them. We're also thrilled to bring the AfterSell team's knowledge and expertise into our organization."
This acquisition provides more tools to Rokt Shopify app users to enhance their customers' shopping experiences while boosting revenue. Additionally, Rokt Shopify users can now look forward to enhanced assistance from AfterSell's Canada-based team, which Rokt plans to grow significantly in 2024 and beyond.
Rokt's exclusive, closed marketplace leverages intelligence powered by more than 5 billion transactions across hundreds of leading ecommerce businesses, allowing merchants to create a seamless customer experience while also controlling the types of offers eligible to be displayed to their customers.
The acquisition news follows a year of significant growth and new initiatives for Rokt, including a partnership with Formula 1's 2023 championship team, Oracle Red Bull Racing, as well as several key appointments to its executive leadership team, including Chief Product Officer Srishti Gupta and Chief Marketing Officer Doug Rozen.
Rokt is the global leader in ecommerce technology, enabling companies to drive incremental value from every transaction by unlocking relevant messages at the moment customers are most likely to convert. Rokt's machine learning platform, built over the last 10 years, and scaled network powers billions of global transactions annually for the world's leading companies, including Live Nation, AMC Theatres, PayPal, Uber, Hulu, Staples, GoPuff, Lands' End, and HelloFresh. Headquartered in New York City, the company operates in 15 countries across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region and has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the US by Inc. for the last three years in a row.
PR Newswire | January 10, 2024
DreamSpring, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and Small Business Administration (SBA) lender, and Woodforest National Bank® (Woodforest), a national bank with over 760 branches across 17 states, are working together to provide access to $1.5 million in debt capital to low- and moderate-income (LMI) small business entrepreneurs. The influx of lending capital from Woodforest to DreamSpring is a milestone in their shared commitment to spur community development and job creation through expanding peer networks and increasing access to capital.
"Our collaboration with Woodforest widens the path for entrepreneurs to access much-needed capital and business resources," said Anne Haines, President and CEO of DreamSpring. "With Woodforest at our side, DreamSpring continues to expand our capacity to help small business owners realize their dreams and build stronger, more resilient communities through entrepreneurship."
Daniel Galindo, Senior Vice President & Director of the CRA Program & Strategic Initiatives at Woodforest National Bank added, "Working with a strong CDFI like DreamSpring combines both organizations' financial strengths to provide access to LMI small business owners who struggle to get the funds they need to run and grow their business which is a key focus for our team."
Both financial institutions share a commitment to empowering communities through entrepreneurship. The term loan agreement will allow DreamSpring to provide microloans to small business owners and LMI entrepreneurs as they start or grow their businesses across 10 shared states in DreamSpring and Woodforest's national footprints: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, and Texas.
The agreement between DreamSpring and Woodforest also strengthens the teams' vision to expand peer networks across their shared footprint to provide more resources for small business owners.
For instance, in South Dallas, both organizations have embraced the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's (OCC) acclaimed Dallas REACh initiative, aimed at increasing LMI access to capital. Woodforest facilitated DreamSpring's connection to the monthly Dallas REACh roundtable, bringing together banks, CDFIs, and community stakeholders and leaders. This collaboration has resulted in a greater network of support in South Dallas, enriching the local small business ecosystem.
One South Dallas-based small business owner who has felt the life-changing impact of capital is Taylor Symoné. Her small day spa business offers beauty and hair treatments, therapeutic post-operative care, massages, and facials. When she was first getting started, Taylor remembers calling about 15 financial institutions and feeling frustrated every time by the paperwork needed for a small loan, as well as rigid requirements for only helping businesses with at least two years of operational history. DreamSpring was different. Taylor has since repaid three DreamSpring loans to fuel her business growth and create even more opportunities for her family.
"I'm really big on generational wealth," says Taylor. "I like to teach my kids about being their own boss, being the star of their own show, and learning and understanding that you can create your own passageway — you just have to want to."
For 30 years, DreamSpring has developed small business training and a range of loan products to meet the needs of entrepreneurs like Taylor. Today, DreamSpring offers credit-building small business loans, lines of credit, SBA 7(a) loans, and commercial real estate loans in 27 states to level the playing field by bridging credit and knowledge gaps that hinder economic mobility.
DreamSpring is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lender dedicated to accelerating the economic inclusion and strength of underserved communities. Founded in 1994, the organization provides rapid access to capital and customized wrap-around support to the most vulnerable small business owners in 27 states, focusing on communities including people of color, women, low- to moderate-income earners, people with disabilities, and start-ups. To date, DreamSpring has issued more than 48,796 loans totaling over $538 million to small businesses that support an estimated 65,138 jobs.
About Woodforest National Bank
Celebrating over 40 years of community banking service, Woodforest National Bank has successfully stood among the strongest community banks in the nation, proudly offering outstanding customer service since 1980. Woodforest currently operates over 760 branches in 17 states across the United States and is an Outstanding CRA rated institution.
PR Newswire | January 10, 2024
According to new data revealed today by vcita, the business management platform for SMBs and the organizations that serve them, economic factors are dominating the concerns of SMBs in the new year, with 67% of SMBs citing the financial elements of their business to be their biggest worry. These findings underscore the pivotal role financial stability, and the technology that secures it, plays for small and medium-sized businesses navigating the business landscape in 2024.
As SMBs brace themselves for the challenges of 2024, economic elements loom large on their horizon. Cash flow, deemed a pressing concern by 25% of SMBs, stands alongside the equal worry of attracting new clients. Moreover, rising inflation is weighing on small business owners, with 17% citing it as a major concern. Reflecting this sentiment, they have an increasing demand for comprehensive financial tools, which have proven to be major contributors in the development of financial resilience and healthy cash flow management, with 38% expressing a preference for an all-in-one digital solution that encompasses billing, invoicing, payments, and accounting reports. In fact, 49% of SMBs are already using digital tools to automate the financial elements of their business. In addition, 31% of SMBs have indicated early adoption of AI technology, leveraging AI applications to gain insights and generate content for marketing and client communication. These statistics emphasize the growing reliance of SMBs on digital solutions to navigate the complex business terrain ahead.
"As economic headwinds intensify, the need for reliable digital tools becomes paramount for sustaining business resilience," said Itzik Levy, CEO and Founder of vcita. "SMBs are increasingly embracing digital solutions and recognizing the critical role they play in ensuring their adaptability and continued success in an ever-evolving market. We have been supporting the SMB community with digital solutions for over a decade, and are committed to continue expanding our platform, including the incorporation of AI technology, to facilitate the growing needs of the SMB segment."
In terms of willingness to spend their hard-earned dollars on these digital tools, 72% of SMBs are already spending a minimum of 1200 USD per year on digital tools with 58% spending between 1200-6000 USD every year. This highlights how SMBs are leveraging digital innovations as a means of navigating the complexities posed by business and financial uncertainties.
Additional findings include:
The State of AI: 31% of SMBs are already using AI in their business operations. For the 69% who are not using AI in their business, the main reasons are that they don't feel it would help their business (31%) and that they don't understand how to use AI (30%). The SMBs that are using AI saw a multitude of uses for the technology in their businesses from helping with pricing services and products based on competition (20%), to writing email and SMS campaigns (18%), to following up with clients (16%).
Multiple Digital Tools: As SMBs continue to navigate the intricate landscape of digital tools, a prevailing trend emerges – reliance on multiple tools to manage diverse business needs. 79% of SMBs are utilizing two or more digital tools, with a notable 13% juggling five or more tools to efficiently operate their ventures. However, amidst this multiplicity, there's a resounding desire for consolidation, with 90% of SMBs expressing interest in combining all the capabilities of their digital tools into just one tool.
Peer Recommendations Key: When it comes to choosing these tools, SMBs heavily rely on peer recommendations, with 49% valuing word of mouth from friends and fellow business owners. Google reviews also hold sway, influencing the decisions of 23% of SMBs seeking reliable digital solutions.
vcita is an SMB tech company dedicated to helping small and medium businesses thrive in today's digital world by providing them with the tools to manage and grow their business. With vcita's solution, small businesses can manage all aspects of their day-to-day operations and client engagement including scheduling, billing, payment collection, client management, email and SMS marketing. inTandem by vcita is a platform designed to serve the needs of SMB service providers, offering a customizable, white-label, platform that allows organizations that serve SMBs to bring their clients all the essential vcita tools under their own brand. With inTandem, partners can deliver great service and value to their SMB customers and unlock new revenue streams, reduce churn, and increase customer loyalty. With hundreds of thousands of small business users worldwide and partnerships including marketing agencies, banks, financial service providers, telcos, MSPs, and fintechs, vcita delivers an innovative digital solution uniquely designed to serve the needs of SMBs and the companies that support them.