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More merchants these days are recognizing the goldmine of potential customers that is Facebook. So why not fish where the fish are? 8thBridge, a Minneapolis-based startup that bills itself as a social commerce company, helps merchants do just that, and today the company announced its $10 million Series B round led by Trident Capital, with help from existing investor Split Rock Partners.
8thBridge certainly isn't the only player on the social commerce field. Recently, we covered Addoway, a startup that helps merchants connect with customers on Facebook. In a new era of global social connectivity, startups like these take eBay and the Amazon marketplace to the next level by allowing merchants and customers to actually see who they're making exchanges with.
Unlike most other social commerce startups, 8thBridge works with established brands rather than individual mom-and-pop retailers. The company's clients include 1-800-Flowers.com, Lands’ End, Brooks Brothers, Delta Air Lines, Hallmark, HauteLook, and more.
“The rise of Facebook as the next-generation web platform and of the data encapsulated in the Open Graph enable companies to establish new levels of understanding of and intimacy with their customers," said Evangelos Simoudis, Managing Director of Trident Capital, in a prepared statement. Simoudis will also be joining 8thBridge’s board of directors. “Companies must learn to effectively utilize social media in general and these resources in particular for marketing and commerce. 8thBridge offers unique solutions to power social commerce.”
The company will use the new funds to beef up its technology platform, 8thBridge Storecast, which enables in-stream shopping experiences that allow customers to check out directly from their news feeds and within fan pages, among other features.
8thBridge raised $5 million in January 2010, along with a $590,000 in an angel round in 2009. This round brings the company's total raised to more than $15 million.
Image source: 8thBridge.com
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