We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve raised an oversubscribed $10M Series A-1 round to propel the Experience Economy forward, double down on our customer experience data platform, and continue to support the most innovative brands in the world. I’m thrilled to partner with our incredible investors to not just ride the tidal wave of the upcoming experiential renaissance, but to build the currents for the future, led by a16z (Andreessen Horowitz) and Runa Capital, with Rally Ventures, Precursor Ventures, Day One Ventures, and Francisco Crespo (former CMO of Coca-Cola).
It’s been quite a journey…
“What is the Experience Economy in a world stuck indoors?”
This is the conversation we were having last March as the dominos fell, and experiences shut down globally for fear of becoming superspreader events. Transparently, this was a terrifying moment for AnyRoad, a company we built to power experiential data, which relied on IRL (in-real-life) experiences to grow.
For years, we have supported some of the largest companies in the world in scaling their experiential programs and services, spoken at countless conferences espousing the virtues of the secular trends of the experience economy, and worked on research to show not just how large this industry was, but also that the growth and the ROI eclipsed almost every other form of marketing. It was March 2020, and we feared it all was grinding to a halt.
It turns out, however, that our partners are just as innovative and agile as we are here at AnyRoad. Many of them came to us to ask what they should do and what the future of brand experiences was. One of the smartest CEOs I encountered remarked,
“We need to be where our customers are; if they’re in our stores, we need to engage with them there, and if they’re at home, we need to be in their homes.”
We made an immediate and large bet on virtual experiences, our customers pivoted to online – inspiring us and pushing to keep building, and the experience economy didn’t disappear as some had feared – it just expanded into digital. Within two months, the scale of our online experiences had surpassed our past IRL experiences, and it keeps climbing.
The world of Customer Experience is fundamentally changed these days. Pre-pandemic, most brands used survey platforms to hone in on problems in customer support, polling consumers on whether you’d recommend your least-favorite airline to a friend. That’s fine. The future of Customer Experience is all about behavioral change and impact. The future of customer experience isn’t simply flagging issues – brands are innovating by creating transformative experiences at scale to build communities, create lifelong loyalty, and influence behavior through – for lack of a better word – brand love.
My team knows I often repeat the mantra that the world is moving from a things economy to an experience economy. This trend has become even more obvious post-pandemic as most of our customers are already seeing a renaissance in in-person branded experiences, while at the same time, virtual experiences are now permanent fixtures in any mature customer experience strategy.
The future is hybrid. We are now doubling down on building out a platform that leverages brands’ data to scale experiences that change behavior, feelings, and perception, wherever brands reach their customers – in stores or on sofas.
We would not be here without the dedication, grit, and creativity of the inspiring AnyRoad team (aka Roadies). We have a more cohesive team, a better product, and a stronger company due to our perseverance together this insane last year. We even brought on 3 incredible new executives during the pandemic to scale the company – Michael O’Connell (VP Marketing) from Optimizely, Ryan Whitney (Chief Sales Officer) from Gainsight, and Aamir Farooq (VP Engineering) from Optimizely.
We made it through the storm with our customers and we are busy preparing for the experiential tsunami at the end of the pandemic. Epidemiologists are predicting that vaccines will be freely available in May, businesses are opening and thriving in many cities, and after a year of lock-down, we are craving human connection. The world’s best brands are ready to foster these experiences.
We cannot be more excited for what’s to come, and we can’t wait to dive into the roaring 20s!
The future is experiential.