A Q&A with Eversight co-founders Jamie Rapperport (CEO) and David Moran (chairman). The Palo Alto-based marketing technology startup announced the completion of a $9.7 million Series A funding round at the start of this month from Emergence Capital Partners. It was founded in 2013, and this is its first notable round of outside fundraising.
SUB: Please describe Eversight and your primary innovation.
Moran: Eversight is an ‘offer innovation’ company. We provide cloud software that lets consumer goods companies and retailers come up with promotions that shoppers find compelling.
We do it in a radically different way—instead of looking backwards and trying to figure out the effectiveness of past promotions, we let our clients test hundreds or thousands of possible promotions very rapidly with real shoppers.
Our approach combines the digital world and the brick-and-mortar world, and it’s completely unique.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Moran: Our target markets are consumer goods companies and retailers. Users are people in those companies who think about promotions and how to make them more effective. On the consumer goods side, that means the retail sales teams, insights, shopper marketing, and trade promotion management folks—it’s a lot of people. It usually rolls up to the chief customer officer. On the retail side, offer innovation is usually sponsored by the lead merchant, buyers are involved across categories, and consumer insights teams are also engaged.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition, and what differentiates Eversight from the competition?
Moran: There are a number of companies trying to come up with better promotions by looking into the past. They’re all doing some variant of the same thing—regression modeling based on historic POS data.
There are two big problems with that approach. First, there’s far too much noise in that data to get a meaningful signal. The second is that these methods look only at the narrow set of promotions that have been run—they don’t allow for a broad exploration of new offers and promotion structures.
SUB: You just announced that you’ve raised $9.7 million in Series A funding. Why was this a particularly good time to raise outside funding?
Rapperport: We want to make sure we have the financing in place to continue to grow as rapidly as we have thus far. The reception from the venture community was gratifying—we have the combination they look for, including an all-star team, a large market opportunity, a great product, and happy customers realizing immediate results.
SUB: How do you plan to use the funds, and do you have plans to seek additional outside funding in the near future?
Rapperport: We’ll use the funds to continue our rapid growth. This means expanding our team across the board—engineering, data science, product management, and client services. For now, we’re set for financing with no plans to raise another round in the near future.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Eversight? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Moran: I was running global revenue management at Anheuser-Busch InBev, and as I looked at the solutions in the market for driving more effective promotion spend I was completely disappointed. There had to be a better way. That sent me on a quest that ended with us founding the company and delivering this approach.
SUB: What were the first steps you took in establishing the company?
Rapperport: Step one was to find a great CTO and head of data science. We knew what we were seeking to do was going to be challenging on the product and data science side, and we wanted a great team to build it. Fortunately, we found just the people we were looking for.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story or meaning behind it?
Moran: It took some effort. The thing about naming is everyone has a good idea. This was an area where we ended up bringing in a pro who does nothing but naming, and we’re glad we did. It communicates the essence of our solution—a far vision into the possible.
SUB: What have the most significant challenges been so far to building the company?
Rapperport: We’re right in the heart of Silicon Valley and it’s a pretty competitive job market, so at first it was a challenge recruiting great software developers. Once we had our CTO and a couple star engineers on the team, that problem solved itself—really good developers want to join others they respect.
SUB: How do you generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Rapperport: We generate revenue by selling annual subscriptions to our offer innovation solution in the cloud.
SUB: What are your goals for Eversight over the next year or so?
Rapperport: First and foremost, we want to continue uncovering breakthrough promotions for our clients. That’s why we’re here, and it’s the most gratifying part of our business. Eversight Cloud has already been used to conduct more than 338 million test offers—and we will continue to weave the insights gleaned from the real-world shopper responses into the software.
The technology has proven its ability to greatly improve the $300 billion in discounts spent by CPGS and retailers annually. Studies have shown that the typical CPG loses 50 cents on the dollar with these discounts, so as we grow our client roster, we expect the financial impact of improving offer performance by 20-to-50 percent will be significant.