G2 Crowd is in with the venture capital crowd. The provider of customer reviews and related analytical data on dozens of categories of business software products and services—covering such areas as e-commerce, CRM, I.T. security and digital advertising—received $30 million in funding this week.
The Chicago-based company, which says it has received $45 million in total funding, reports that it has amassed more than 173,000 verified-user reviews of business software and services. It makes the reviews available for free to visitors to its website, G2Crowd.com, which it says receives “nearly 1 million” unique monthly visitors.
Tim Handorf, co-founder and CEO, says G2 Crowd will use its funding to expand review content and make it more useful. “Our plans include ramping up our review collection to ensure that we provide coverage for as many B2B products as possible in this ever-expanding market, and diving deeper into our existing data to expose more insights to buyers,” he said in a blog post on G2Crowd.com this week.
“B2B buyers are increasingly looking for real-time insights from peers, and we see an incredible opportunity to double down on our innovation and review collation to provide unique buying insights across a broad range of business technology and related services,” he added in a press release this week about the funding.
G2 Crowd also has several ways of earning revenue, such as by connecting the providers of software and services covered in its posted reviews with site visitors on G2Crowd.com, and by licensing its review content. Providers of software covered in reviews, for example, can pay to post a “Request for Demo” pop-up form that a site visitor can fill out to request a product demonstration. Companies that license review content can use the content in marketing campaigns and for conducting research and analysis of reviews for particular categories of software and services.
But companies covered in reviews have no way to modify review content or the placement of reviews as listed in each product category, a spokesman says. He adds that G2 Crowd requires everyone who writes a review to register and log into G2Crowd.com through LinkedIn; G2 Crowd staffers then check LinkedIn profiles to verify each reviewer’s identity and to confirm that he or she has no listed association with a reviewed product or company.
The spokesman says G2 Crowd has more than 200,000 registered users, including those who write reviews or purchase its data. But most visitors to the G2Crowd.com don’t register, which enables them to only read published review content.
Arun Mathew, a partner with Accel, says Accel considers G2 Crowd a “market leader” comparable to other online technology companies that Accel has invested in, including Facebook and Dropbox, the online data storage provider. “There is a paradigm shift occurring as B2B buyers increasingly behave like consumers, relying on authentic online reviews and social media to make purchase decisions and no other company is better suited to catalyze this market opportunity than G2 Crowd,” he says.
Kevin Eagan, chief digital experience officer at IBM Corp., is quoted in the G2 Crowd’s funding press release saying “G2 Crowd is an important partner in expanding online advocacy for IBM. The user review platform is giving us new ways to connect to our customers, hear their feedback about our products and services, and strengthen our culture of customer centricity.”
Sign up for a free subscription to B2BecNews, a twice-weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes DigitalCommerce360.com, Internet Retailer and Internet Health Management. Follow B2BecNews editor Paul Demery on Twitter @pdemery.
Follow us on LinkedIn and be the first to know when new B2BecNews content is published.