Kealan Lennon, CEO and founder of Cleverbug
Social gifting company Cleverbug has raised €4.4m in a new funding round led by Delta Partners, bringing its total equity investment to €6m so far. As a result, the Dublin-based company will be creating 25 new jobs this year.
The funding will help to accelerate the next phase of business development at the Dublin company, further global expansion, and new product developments.
This year, Cleverbug will add 25 positions to its company to expand operations, broaden the breadth of the product and its functionalities, and seek strategic partnerships.
From a mobile device, such as an iPhone or iPad, Cleverbug’s app allows consumers to spot through social media if a friend’s birthday, anniversary or other life event is coming up.
Then, for less than US$3, they can customise a card from more than 400 templates and have it physically delivered anywhere in the world within 24 hours. The card also appears in the recipient’s news feed on Facebook for all of his or her friends to see.
“This time last year, Cleverbug was a simple birthday card iPhone app with elegant social graph technology,” CEO and founder of Cleverbug Kealan Lennon said.
“We never would have guessed that in a year we’d scale the product to such a degree that our users all over the world can now meaningfully celebrate almost every major holiday and every milestone with friends and family in minutes.
“Our users love CleverCards, and in 2014, we’re going to give them more of what they love, by continuing to improve the service and introduce new product.”
Cleverbug has developed proprietary algorithms that leverage its users’ Facebook connections to create beautiful, high quality greeting cards to send anywhere in the world.
The company has access to 76 printing facilities worldwide.
Fuelling momentum across the social spectrum
Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com, Lennon said the investment will fuel the company’s current momentum.
“We are in discussions with a number of online and mobile partners who are looking to use CleverCards to monetise their user base through the sale of printed personalised cards,” he said.
“We are also in discussion with some large traditional global brands (whose customer base is mainly female) who want to leverage our technology and infrastructure – we solve a problem for those brands by giving them immediate access to a highly personalised product, on mobile, which has deep integration into their social graph – but fundamentally is an e-commerce opportunity selling real tangible personalised products.”
New technology developments on the horizon include a continued emphasis on user experience (UX) as well as auto-processing of photos.
“We process around 7bn photos at any point in time for 50m friends and family, so that the user is presented with an exceptional match in terms of suitability, appropriateness, and so on.
“It is this magic that our customers comment on, and the facts speak for themselves. Around 85pc of our users use the photos we have auto-populated, auto-sized with face recognition technology into card templates. This is simply not easy.
“We’re also building capabilities to offer additional greeting card content and further personalised photo and digital gift products.
“We recently developed our ‘CleverBook’ – this is a place where the loved ones in your life exist. No other social network has this and we intend to improve this unique ‘real social network’, where a mum is a mum and a godchild is a godchild not just a contact or a friend,” Lennon explained.