Austin-based Digby, has been making the news today, announcing further funding which has even been picked up by TechCrunch. A leader in mobile commerce and in-store mobile engagement for more than 45 top retail brands, Digby announced today that it has raised $8 million in Series C funding led by Battery Ventures and with participation from current investors including BlackBerry Partners Fund (NASDAQ: RIMM), S3 Ventures and Daylight Partners. The funds will be used as working capital to accelerate the company’s leadership position in mobile commerce for the retail market, as well as to expand global operations including sales, marketing, client services, research and platform development.
“We are excited to announce this new round of funding, which will support our deep investment in the retail channel and provide our retail partners with the best mobile engagement experiences in the industry,” said David Sikora, President and CEO of Digby. “Mobile applications and websites are transforming the ways that retailers engage with their customers. The market opportunity for the Digby Mobile Commerce Software platform is accelerating dramatically and this investment provides us the ability to continue to build on our leading position. Battery Ventures, with their deep experience in building successful software companies, is the ideal partner to bring Digby to the next level.”
Mobile commerce continues to soar at unprecedented levels; predictions place a smartphone in 1 out of every 2 North Americans’ hands by the end of 2011. Out of those, 56% of shoppers with smartphones believe using their phone during the shopping experience will make it more enjoyable. And for many, it already has—mobile barcode scanning increased 1,600% last year and 73% of shoppers with smartphones report preferring to reference their mobile device while in-store than ask a sales associate for help. Similar growth trends are being seen in cultures around the world as consumer adoption of smartphones and anytime, anywhere commerce are giving retailers a way to expand their sales and brand engagement on a global basis.
“The mobile commerce trend is undeniable, and we’re thrilled to be backing the leading team and technology in the space,” said Michael Brown, General Partner at Battery Ventures and new Digby Board Member. “Digby is best positioned of all of the companies we’ve seen to help top retail brands succeed in the mobile channel, and we really believe in their SaaS delivery model. They have superior technology that engages consumers, a growing retail customer base and deep knowledge of the industry, and an experienced team that is laser-focused on continuing to build a great platform to help top retailers expand and scale globally.”
“Digby was one of the first companies we invested in when we started the BlackBerry Partners Fund in 2008, and we are thrilled to see how they have grown to become the market leader in enabling the mobile channel for top retail brands,” said Pierre Donaldson, Partner, BlackBerry Partners Fund. “Our enthusiasm continues around Digby based on the market reality that smartphones will be the device people will use to engage in an increasing array of activities.”
As a part of the company’s retail strategy, Digby recently announced a partnership with AT&T to re-sell Digby’s mobile solution to their retail customers including mobile optimized websites and rich apps for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. Digby Mobile Commerce from AT&T will create a substantial opportunity for both companies as the mobile commerce industry continues to expand.
“We have been a big supporter of Digby since our investment in 2008 and believe that the recently announced AT&T relationship shows that Digby is the leader in mobile commerce for retailers,” said Brian R. Smith, Managing Director for S3 Ventures. “We believe that this financing and AT&T relationship further accelerates Digby’s opportunity and broadens its appeal to retailers world-wide.”
Separately, Digby also announced today that Mike Dansby is joining the executive team as Chief Financial Officer. An Austin software industry veteran and former managing director of Alvarez and Marsal Business Consulting, Dansby joins the team at a great time to participate and provide guidance in the next phase of the company’s growth.