Curalate raises $27M Series C for visual commerce

Ronny Kerr · February 3, 2016 · Short URL:

Visual commerce platform connects customers and brands through Instagram, Pinterest

Curalate, provider of a visual commerce platform, has closed a $27 million Series C round of funding led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from previous investors First Round Capital and MentorTech Ventures.

NEA also led both the Series A and Series B rounds for Philadelphia-based Curalate, which has raised $40 million to date.

With the rise of social media, many brands and marketers argued for years about the best way to capitalize on all the chatter and photos and videos being shared amongst family and friends, but the industry never came to a consensus. We could all agree that visual content dominated social media, however, and that e-commerce would be profoundly affected by that.

Curalate seems to have cracked the code by developing a “visual commerce platform” serving up offerings for major brands across the most visual social networks (Instagram and LinkedIn) in addition to other social media hubs.

For example, the company’s Like2Buy specifically targets Instagram traffic, aiming to trace a straight line from engagement on the platform to analytics around web traffic or revenue growth. Taking a different approach, Curalate Fanreel gives brands a way of highlighting customer-generated content on their websites, which the company says drives higher click-throughs and conversions.

They must be doing something right, since they claim to be the only visual commerce platform to be a part of the Pinterest Marketing Developer Partner Program, Instagram Partner Program, and Tumblr A-List Partner Program.

Not only that, but they have a respectable list of customers. Among the nearly 800 brands currently using Curalate’s platform, you’ll find many household names, including Forever 21, Nordstrom, BuzzFeed, J.Crew, Staples, Williams-Sonoma, Urban Outfitters, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and Neiman Marcus.

“Consumers now communicate in images, and working with Curalate has enabled us to speak their language,” said Wanda Gierhart, CMO of Neiman Marcus Group, in the press release for the announcement. “Today we are engaging customers with visual content at every touch point – Instagram, Pinterest, our blog, our website and more. As a result of working with Curalate, we are seeing not only increased engagement, but also a simpler, more intuitive path to purchase.”

Piqora, one of Curalate's closest competitors, says it works with 400 brands, but it doesn't have the same laundry list of big names boasted by Curalate. It does, however, say it works with Etsy, Crate and Barrel, and Steve Madden.

Curalate says its platform now serves up billions of visual brand engagements to over 100 million consumers monthly.

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Headquartered in Philadelphia, Curalate is leading the pack in developing a new breed of marketing tools for the visual web, starting with Pinterest. Curalate offers the most comprehensive solution available for brands and agencies looking to measure, monitor, and grow brand engagement on today's socially curated sites. Curalate is backed by top tier venture capitalists including NEA and First Round Capital, and is in use by hundreds of brands and agencies including Michael Kors, Kraft Foods, Real Simple, Edelman Digital, and GroupM Next.

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