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AddGlow is competing against Reddit and Facebook by offering community-building software designed for companies

Ina Herlihy argues that e-commerce firms are missing out on organic traffic and potential income by depending on third-party community platforms such as Reddit and Facebook groups.

According to Herlihy in an email to , organizations must put increasing retention rates and organic traffic as a top priority as the costs for acquiring new users rise significantly, frequently by hundreds of dollars. Establishing an onsite community enables companies to enhance customer retention and generate more organic traffic since the community is hosted on their own domain.

Herlihy embarked on a project in late 2022 to develop community software allowing brands to establish communities on their websites. AddGlow is the outcome.

“Owned community is poised to become a significant marketing channel for the $17 trillion e-commerce market,” Herlihy said. companies primarily use Facebook Groups to cultivate community, however there are shortcomings for both consumers and companies. Customers lack context on the identity of the poster. We address this issue by using comprehensive user profiles to ensure businesses have access to data and can streamline the purchasing process.

This is the process: The firm in New York gathers data based on profile parameters provided by the brand, such as skin concern, hair type, or preferred style of shoe. This data is used to customize the brand’s homepage, product detail pages, emails, and SMS messages.

Furthermore, AddGlow is compatible with a brand’s catalog, allowing community members to tag goods while discussing them. Site visitors may add items to their cart without leaving the community interface.

Through an onsite engagement-based loyalty program, community members may earn points for certain behaviors such as completing their profile, publishing, and reacting. The brand may customize all of this.

The firm is still in its nascent stages after a year of product development. Herlihy said that AddGlow has received $1.7 million in pre-seed investment to go to the next step.

The venture capital process lasted around two months, despite Herlihy being a distinctive founder in the current difficult financing landscape: a “non-technical solo founder with an idea,” as she characterized herself.

Stellation Capital and Precursor Ventures co-led the funding round along with Miles Bird from StoryHouse Ventures and a group of strategic angel investors, including Jeff Shotts, Chris Kaufman, Henry Davis, Anthemos Georgiades, and Tristan Walker.

“I met Peter Boyce II (Stellation) and Charles Hudson (Precursor) through mutual acquaintances,” Herlihy said. “Prior to and during the fundraising process, I consulted my tech friends to identify the VCs that left the strongest impression on them when it comes to pre-seed founders.” Charles and Peter were the most often mentioned names, so I realized I had to include them on my capitalization chart.

The fresh funding allowed Herlihy to hire engineers and a designer with prior expertise at companies such as Walmart, Nike, eBay, Google, and Twitch. AddGlow’s second year will prioritize income after a year dedicated to product development, according to Herlihy.

“We began collaborating with smaller brands and are now developing extra features to also cater to larger brands,” Herlihy said. AddGlow assists in fostering a feeling of connection among individuals. Our objective is to provide a secure environment for community members to seek personal guidance and establish significant relationships.

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