Milyoni (apparently pronounced “million-eye,” not “mill-yoh-nee”) announced Wednesday that it has raised $3 million in a round of Series A funding led by returning seed investors ATA Ventures and Thornvest Ventures.
Founded in 2009, the f-commerce platform has created what it terms “conversational commerce” platform, which means users can visit a brand’s Facebook page and shop directly within the page without leaving Facebook. This is not a new development—a number of brands have been gravitating towards this type of Facebook marketplace experience. Recently, Gamestop became the first national gaming retailer to create its own storefront page on Facebook. But what makes Milyoni unique is that it offers a turnkey solution to brands to allow them to create their own storefronts.
For example, one of the brands that uses Milyoni’s service is Warner Bros. As the final chapter in the Harry Potter saga draws nigh (JUST 51 MORE DAYS!!), Warner Bros. has created a Harry Potter 7 (part 2—the second part of the seventh part) fan page where fans can check out photos, get more info, watch video clips, and even watch the other Harry Potter movies on Facebook. There is also a “Shop Harry Potter” tab, which takes users to the Harry Potter Facebook storefront. Users can browse the catalog, get access to sales, and purchase movies, books, and other paraphernalia all without leaving the Harry Potter 7 fan page.
Milyoni has partnered with a number of other services to make its “conversational commerce” platform possible, including (of course) Facebook, Symantec, Rackspace Hosting, Context Optional, Paypal, Authorize.net, and more.
Today, Milyoni works with over 50 brands, including the NBA, the Miami HEAT, Oklahoma University, and more. In all, the brands represent over 80 million fans (Harry Potter 7 alone has over 24 million fans).
“With the social commerce market projected to reach $30 billion globally by 2015, a huge market opportunity is there for companies wanting to tap the Facebook platform to secure and enhance customer loyalty,” said Milyoni founder and CEO John Corpus in a statement. “We are lucky to work with some of the most innovative and digitally-savvy customers, and are excited to continue expanding the markets that we reach.”
The company plans to use the new funds for marketing and business development in the entertainment, sports, consumer electronics and specialty retail industries.