Restaurant industry’s secret weapon moves into new brick & mortar battlegrounds, investing in AI and Machine Learning for predictive marketing
Punchh, the leader in digital marketing for retail brick & mortar stores serving more than 100 restaurant chains around the world and 35 million consumers, announced a new round of Series B venture funding. Punchh accepted $20MM in funding led by Sapphire Ventures, who funds category-leading growth technology companies, with participation from Cervin Ventures, bringing their total funding to date to $31MM USD. The new funding will be used to expand the Punchh Marketing Cloud to new industries and roll out predictive marketing capabilities using AI and machine learning.
Headquartered in the US, Punchh’s key operational facility is based in Jaipur, India focusing on engineering, R&D and analytics. With this funding, Punchh will expand its existing headcount of 110+ Indian employees by 50% in 2018-19. A significant part of the expanded team in India will be dedicated to developing the existing AI and machine learning capabilities within the platform. Additionally, the funding will be used to expand the company’s geographical footprint and its customer base in India, Asia and other regional markets.
Punchh is also releasing a new product, Punchh Acquire, which converts anonymous customers into brand loyalists through a broad array of channels including Wifi, SMS, social platforms, Apple Pay, eClub and others. The new Punchh Acquire product, previously available only as a Private Beta, is now available to all Punchh customers and is currently being rolled out by several restaurant chains.
Punchh’s new AI and machine learning tools will empower brick and mortar retailers with the same data-driven, omni-channel marketing strategies that have allowed digital merchants to continually gain market share. By enhancing the Punchh marketing platform with intelligent and predictive consumer profiles, marketers at every level can create impactful, custom campaigns and offers across national, local, sku or even weather-based strata. Punchh is the only marketing solution in the world to combine this array of Omni-channel marketing opportunities with artificial intelligence-driven marketing.
“Companies like Amazon have digital, data-driven, and tailored 1-1 marketing down to a science, while brick and mortar retailers are left data-blind and forced to spray and pray – they don’t learn from your past purchases, can’t recommend products they know you’ll buy, and they aren’t able to send the right offers to you at just the right time.” said Shyam Rao, CEO and co-founder of Punchh. “Consumers that choose to do their shopping online as opposed to going to the store aren’t lazy – online retailers are simply doing a better job at knowing their customers and keeping them loyal with delightful and customized shopping experiences.”
Rao continued: “The tools to compete with Amazon do exist and, as Punchh customers like Pizza Hut and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf can attest, brick and mortar retailers now have the tools to identify customers, predict behaviors and execute custom campaigns on the fly that fundamentally increase lifetime customer value.”
Punchh dominates the restaurant marketing world with customers including The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, El Pollo Loco, Pizza Hut, Quiznos, and Smashburger. In addition to the fundraising event and product launches, Punchh has announced the intention to broaden their focus beyond the realm of restaurants and into new vertical markets including Health & Beauty, Convenience Stores, and Gas Stations with more to follow. As part of the push into new markets Punchh is also announcing the launch of Fantastic Sams hair care along with TruFusion, a wildly popular chain of Yoga, Pilates, Barre and Cycling health and fitness stores.
“Punchh is already a global leader in digital marketing solutions for restaurants, which alone would be a fantastic reason to invest in the company,” said Jai Das, managing director, Sapphire Ventures. “But the scope of their technology goes far beyond just restaurants and encompasses all brick-and-mortar stores with a POS. We are excited to bring our global network and expertise to help the Punchh team scale their platform to meet the massive, global opportunity of providing Amazon-like customer insights to brick-and-mortar retailers”
Punchh’s network of restaurant customers includes more than 100 restaurant chains across the globe, representing more than $12B in annual spend by 35 million consumers. Leading restaurant brands have already deployed the new Punchh Acquire product during its Beta test period, including Del Taco and Noodles & Company. Beyond the thousands of restaurants marketing via the Punchh network in the United States, Punchh products are employed in markets as varied as Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.