When it comes to tracking customers, brick and mortar shops haven’t necessarily advanced with the advent of new technologies. Bridg’s platform is a solution that allows for companies to leverage their data and offerings to develop customer profiles for restaurant operators by integrating data from existing sources including POS systems and loyalty programs. Already helping industry leaders like Quiznos’ and Chipotle, Bridg is bringing marketing tech to the masses.
LA TechWatch discussed with Amit Jain About the company and got the details on their most recent round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
The $11 million we recently raised was a Series B Funding. The financing was led by Morpheus Ventures, with participation from new investors NextEquity Partners and Visa, as well as returning investor March Capital.
Tell us about your product or service.
Bridg is a marketing platform that reveals, engages and measures all of a restaurant’s guests. By revealing offline consumers and engaging with them online through ominchannel messaging, we help brick-and-mortar restaurants gain better insights to ultimately drive sales.
Bridg gets transaction data directly from the POS system plus unifies other data sources such as online ordering and loyalty programs to build unique customer profiles. Understanding individual behavior patterns, the platform provides clients with deep data science used to create effective, personalized marketing campaigns that drive traffic and sales in immediately measurable ways.
I have worked at the intersection of marketing and big data for years. The subject matters have always fascinated me, and I find the challenge of making them work together very exciting.
I had noticed a number of years ago that brick-and-mortar businesses were seriously behind in utilizing the marketing technology that giants like Amazon had perfected and used to their benefit for quite some time. If that pair of sneakers you researched online can essentially “follow you around” to your Facebook feed, or other social media channels, why couldn’t we make that happen for a physical store’s product as well?
I knew I could help build the technology to allow these businesses to identify and tap into their audiences for true precision marketing. Long gone are the days of blasting anything and everything out to everyone. People today expect tailored and personalized marketing and advertising messages that reach them on their terms – and that’s exactly what we help restaurant and retail brands do.
How is it different?
Bridg is really the first company to do what we do. We seamlessly plug into any restaurant or retailers’ POS and other data systems to gather information that helps us engage their customers.
A key element of what we are doing is winning back lapsed customers. It costs much more to win a new customer than it does to bring back an existing customer. But all too often, customers can stop patronizing a business for any number of reasons.
We work with our clients to reveal and engage those existing and lapsed customers to create custom marketing messages to win them back, and keep them coming back. We’ve seen some great results for many clients including Hungry Howie’s, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery and Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
What’s your business model?
Bridg is licensed on a simple SaaS subscription model typically based on the number of locations being supported.
How has restaurant tech evolved in recent years?
Restaurant marketing technology has evolved in leaps and bounds in recent years. While we still have a ways to go to truly achieve some of the amazing successes of the ecommerce realm, we are seeing a steady increase in solutions made to address seemingly every possible issue a restaurant business may face. For example, there is now technology that records guest preferences so your sommelier knows exactly which wine a certain guest prefers. Also, digital ordering and delivery is gaining popularity. Consumers demand ease and convenience, and companies are developing and optimizing technology to meet such demands.
What was the funding process like?
The funding process is an exhilarating and rewarding experience. We are thrilled that our investors have confidence in our vision and recognize the long-term value to restaurants and retailers. Their involvement validates what we do and what we’re working toward. This infusion of capital allows us to grow and achieve our goals.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Similar to the customer sales process, you must prove your value to investors. You have to be sure to illustrate the big picture, the potential benefit to current and future customers – and most importantly what you’ve achieved to date. That last part is key so that they can see what you’re capable of.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
I believe our investors decided to work with us because we are doing something no other company is doing. We are differentiated and we have proven that our technology makes a measurable and positive impact with customers while showing a great return on investment.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Large product release coming in Q4: stay tuned.
What advice can you offer companies in Los Angeles that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Remain scrappy. Very few businesses are ever built with plenty of funding. It takes grit, determination and hard work. Be sure to network and make connections too. Put yourself out there so people can see what you’re working on and get excited about it. Be your own best promoter.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Making the transition to supporting both retail and restaurant clients—they are similar in that they are brick & mortar, but they have their unique challenges and needs. Retail at large spends much more than the restaurant hospitality industry and marketing technology and media (aka “air time”), we’re eager to help retailers spend their advertising budgets as intelligently as we’ve been doing for our restaurant clients.
Where is the best place in LA to watch the sunset?
Can’t go wrong at the Santa Monica Pier or Griffith Park!