As Button approaches its 3rd birthday, I’m excited to announce today that we’ve raised a $20M Series B financing led by Norwest Venture Partners and joined by our friends at Redpoint, DCM, and Greycroft.
The funding, driven through the momentum we’ve been building, driving tens of millions of dollars in transactions over the past few months, will enable Button to continue investing in the people, products, and partners that have brought us this far. With our operating today in over 30 languages and more than 70 countries — we will now be expanding our team’s footprint globally.
Most importantly, we’re going to continue to invest in this team and the growth opportunities we can provide. Whether through mentorship, learning new skills, or coaching in areas where the team requests support, my own personal goal is to ensure that Button fosters growth for the people that have given us their time, effort, and sacrifices to build this company. As I say often, I can’t guarantee outcomes for the business, but I can guarantee our ability to invest in the people that have given us the opportunity to get where we are. This latest round will allow us to double down on that promise.
When we started, we had a mission to build a platform that would give consumers anything they wanted at the touch of a button. We felt that Google had done that in desktop, but we didn’t think a company had really figured it out in mobile.
Our goal was different, yet perhaps as ambitious. Rather than relying on users starting with us or typing in a search box, we thought mobile introduced a different paradigm.
If you think about it, when you uttered the words “I want” in the desktop era, you would almost always follow that statement with a query on Google.
Now, you utter the words “I want” — and you unlock your phone and open an app — today with your fingers, tomorrow with your voice. There is no longer one central place to get what you want…
With this shift and habits changing, commerce was beginning to explode in mobile — but there wasn’t a platform designed to serve this new model of distributed intent.
If you think about that app we referenced…the experience these days is commonly:
I want to find a hotel…I open Tripadvisor
I want a deal…I open Ibotta
I want to go on a date…I open Foursquare
And the list goes on.
These apps represent the new paradigm — where intent is no longer conveyed through typing into an open search box, but rather through tapping inside of a beautifully designed and simple native interface. The problem this poses is that these experiences were engineered to solve very specific problem statements — the booking of a hotel, the rendering of deals, or the discovery of the spot to take that special someone.
The subsequent action is equally important — and that’s where Button comes in. Our platform is serving as the connective tissue between mobile experiences. Linking from a search to a booking engine, a deal app to a retailer, or a local discovery service to a dining reservation platform. Button helps turn inspiration into action and one singular purchase into a complete experience. Our momentum is being propelled as new business models emerge on top of our platform — and as older models realize that what we’ve built is better than the broken pipes and linking structures they’ve been forced to depend on.
What drove the internet’s growth and the massive opportunities it introduced was the availability and“connectedness” of information and experiences. It’s also what enabled Google to link to webpages, Amazon to link to its products, Kayak to link to its flights and Ebates to link to its retailers. All these billion dollar businesses that originated in the desktop era couldn’t have existed without the infrastructure that connected them all…and in mobile…that infrastructure was missing. This fragmentation stifles discovery and has made purchasing harder as seen by the massive delta between time spent and purchase volume on mobile vs desktop.
Today, the linking technology that allowed the businesses above to flourish is floundering. Links and the underlying architecture are limiters in today’s mobile world, not the enablers they once were, and link-dependent businesses everywhere are feeling this pain.
Button’s platform was designed to fill that gap — to target the businesses that rely on links and partnerships as part of their core model — and to create the same opportunities that proved so successful throughout the desktop era.
Yes, it’s early, and mobile commerce is still in its infancy, but nothing has ever grown this quickly or this globally. I’m confident Button has two billion dollar companies building their core strategy on top of our infrastructure — and based on what we’re seeing, we believe there’s more to come.
Our vision is to usher in a new wave of billion dollar dreams on top of the infrastructure that we develop. It’s a tall order , but with the team we’ve assembled, the partners we have building alongside us, and the resources at our disposal, why not dream big. That’s why we got up this morning.
Thanks to all who have been there supporting us since day one, and for those of you that haven’t joined us yet, let us know if any of these opportunities are of interest.