Marketing platform for e-commerce sites developer Yotpo has raised several million dollars from US billionaire Len Blavatnik. The investment was led by ClalTech, the high-tech investment firm recently founded as part of Clal Industries, which serves as a platform for Blavatnik's Access Industries to invest in Israeli technology. Yotpo marks ClalTech’s first investment in Israel.
Yotpo was founded in 2012 by CEO Tomer Tagrin and CTO Omri Cohen. The company offers a solution for publishing user reviews on online retail sites. Nearly 65,000 e-commerce stores internationally are already using Yotpo, and the number of users is growing by several thousand each month.
Earlier this year, Yotpo announced that it closed an $11 million funding round from Blumberg Capital and its previous investors: Rhodium, Gandyr, Oliver Jung (who also invested in Facebook and Airbnb), Plus Ventures, Zohar Gilon and others. The company had raised $13 million before the latest investment by Blavatnik's ClalTech.
Yotpo's product is a plug-in for e-commerce sites, to help the boost sales by powering reviews from verified customers and people who agree to connect their social media profiles to its system, making it possible to share reviews across sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Foursquare.
Yotpo's reasoning is that online shoppers prefer to rely on reviews by friends and acquaintances on social networks, rather than on anonymous reviews, thereby increasing the likelihood that shoppers will buy the product.
Yotpo has 40 employees in Israel and New York. Merchants using Yotpo serve 78 million consumers each month on ecommerce sites in Europe and the US, providing user reviews in 45 languages. The reviews created in Yotpo's system are viewed as highly credible and significantly improve conversion rates of the sites that have installed it.
Tagrin said, "We see this latest investment from ClalTech as an opportunity to form a strategic partnership with Access Industries, a leading global investor in ecommerce. Our partnership with their Israeli team can give us a real boost and help us implement our strategy, namely helping small and medium-sized ecommerce players compete against ecommerce giants such as Amazon and eBay, and better connect the traditional brick and mortar retail world with ecommerce.”
ClalTech will initially focus on investments in Internet, e-commerce and financial technologies, and will rely on the experience and extensive network of Clal Industries and Access. Clal Industries has been investing in Israel for 60 years, successfully generating returns from technology companies such as ECI, Scitex, Nova, Fundtech and more.
ClalTech is headed by Daniel Shinar, who will continue to serve as the VP of Business Development with Clal Industries VP Business Development. Following the investment, Shinar will join Yotpo’s Board of Directors as an observer.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 10, 2014
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