Plum District, a daily deals site for moms, is announcing today it has closed $20 million in Series C financing led by General Catalyst Partners, bringing its total funding amount to $30 million.
The Series C funding round also saw participation from existing investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, plus new investors Comcast Ventures and Duke University. In addition, Plum District has scored a high profile board addition with Raul Vazquez, the former president and CEO of Walmart.com, who has been serving on Plum’s board for the past six weeks.
Megan Gardner, CEO of Plum District, says the additional money from the Series C round is being used to expand the relationship between moms and local merchants.
To accomplish this, Plum District will be leveraging newly acquired technology from Chatterfly – specifically its neighborhood rewards program. You may remember Chatterfly’s launch this summer, which introduced a mobile, digital replacement for the old paper punchcard system. Via Chatterfly’s system, businesses were able to reward customers for making purchases in their stores, but also for sharing their experience on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Google+.
This manufactured word-of-mouth advertising system is a perfect fit for the mom-focused Plum District, which uses “District Consultants” – moms who work with local merchants on customized marketing programs for their assigned regions. Currently, all of Plum District’s deals are sourced directly by these mom/employees. Gardner says her company had been working on a mobile loyalty solution on their own, but found a great connection with Chatterfly.
Loyalty was already a big piece of Plum District’s focus as was viral sharing via social networks. In fact, Gardner notes that 75% of Plum District’s subscriber base has shared a deal via Facebook, Twitter or email. Now the company is combining its own technology with Chatterfly’s. The new system is being tested in Orange County, the East Bay area and Raleigh, N.C.
But these acquisitions don’t just bring new technology to Plum District, they bring expanded markets, too. With the takeover of NY-based DoodleDeals, for example, Plum Deals is able to beef up its East Coast presence. Gardner acknowledges that DoodleDeals had a strong hold in NYC. “They got there first, we had been admiring them from afar,” Gardner admits.
Currently, Plum District employs 300 mom consultants and operates in 27 markets in the U.S. (70 districts). With the acquisitions, those will remain the same, but Plum District’s presence in seven key markets will be fortified. It will also grow to 90 full-time employees and 300 “District Consultants.”
In addition, the DoodleDeal acquisition means gaining access to that service’s exclusive distribution partnerships, including those with Time Out New York Kids, What to Expect and Amazon’s Diapers.com, all of which will continue with Plum Deals.
PlumDistrict now has close to 10 million subscribers and has run over 10,000 deals to date.