SanomaVentures invests in Social Shop, a social commerce platform for consumers to promote their favourite products and offer special deals to friends. A new way for companies and brands to activate their customers as their ambassadors and generate sales.
The Social Shop platform (www.socialshop.nl) enables enthusiastic customers to set up their own online shop, in which they can select and promote their favourite products and offer special discounts to their friends. This way, these so called ‘Shopkeepers’ are activated as brand advocates and as a new sales channel. For every sale to a friend, they can earn a transparent commission. This commission is for them to keep or to give away to their friends who are buying their favourites.
Social Shop was founded in 2012 by Sander Dullaart and won an Accenture Innovation Award a year later in 2013. Dullaart previously co-founded social business consultancy Favela Fabric, which was sold recently. More than 30,000 people have opened their own shop and the number keeps on growing. Not only the number of shops, but likewise the number of partners is growing rapidly: A-brands such as KPN and ANWB have recently joined and offer special deals to Social Shop shopkeepers and their friends.
Sander Dullaart: ”Not only were we looking for additional growth capital, we also wanted expertise in the field of online marketing, lead generation and e-commerce. With Sanoma we found that, plus, the portfolio of Sanoma and SanomaVentures offers many opportunities for cooperation which can further accelerate our growth”.
Herman Kienhuis, Investment Director SanomaVentures: “Sanoma sees ample growth opportunities in ‘social commerce’, meaning word-of-mouth marketing via digital channels, effectively generating sales. Social Shop has developed a unique platform which rewards enthusiastic customers and attracts new customers for its partners and can complement Sanoma’s offering in this space”.
The investment by Sanoma, will be used by Social Shop to further develop the platform and roll out the concept within the Netherlands. In a later stage, an international roll out will be prepared. Social Shop has great ambitions; it foresees a future where the majority of online commerce will be driven by social recommendations.
SanomaVentures is the investment branch of the European media & education group Sanoma Corporation. SanomaVentures aims to support startups by providing capital, media reach, knowledge, network and active support. The focus is on ‘early-stage’ strategic investments in innovative companies in the following six segments: online consumer services, mobile & tablet applications, video & TV, advertising & marketing services, e-commerce and education. SanomaVentures has offices in Amsterdam and Helsinki.
Since 2012, SanomaVentures has invested in Scoupy.nl, Peerby.com, Truly Yours, Vault79.com, VirtuaGym.com, Brandkids.com, Nosto.com, Fosbury.co, WappZapp.tv, ippies.nl, Mijn AutoCoach, FashionQlub.com / Goeiemode.nl, Springest.com, Wugly.nl and Roomlr.com.
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