Viral Launch makes a play to be the ‘go-to’ platform for advertising on Amazon
According to the World Economic Forum, in 2020 the digital universe will reach 44 zettabytes, which is 40 times more bytes of data than there are stars in the sky. While these numbers are mind boggling, the fact remains that this data is mostly meaningless if it isn’t analyzed and put to good use.
One of the highest profile Indianapolis startup success stories of recent years is primarily a data story tied closely to one of the biggest generators of data. If you’re not familiar with Viral Launch, the company’s software-as-a-service platform helps customers launch and scale their businesses selling on Amazon, and, to date, has been used by 10,000+ sellers to launch 50,000+ products and helping drive more than $10 billion in sales for their customers in less than five years.
Viral Launch—winner of the ‘Best of Tech’ Mira Award for Scale-up of the Year—grew its revenue by triple digits and doubled its workforce from 30 to 66 employees in 2018. Currently at 70 employees, executives expect to continue hiring aggressively over the next 12-18 months, building out their high-performing team.
“The tools that our founder, Casey Gauss, built several years ago were really smart and ahead of the curve utilizing the ocean of available Amazon data,” said Mitch Black, the former President of MOBI (now Tangoe) who joined Viral Launch as President and COO last year. “Now those tools are part of an integrated software suite that drives results every day for thousands of FBA [fulfillment by Amazon] sellers.”
What is newer for Viral Launch is dipping into that Amazon data ocean as well as the now billions of data points from its own platform to help large, established brands find more success on Amazon, especially with advertising such as pay-per-click, which is a fast growing sales channel on Amazon. In fact, advertising on Amazon grew by 117% in 2018, making it the third largest advertising platform behind only Google and Facebook.
In order to capitalize on this big opportunity, Viral Launch secured a $7.3 million Series A funding round led by New York-based Tenfore Holdings, with participation from existing investors Mentor’s Fund and UpOver Ventures.
“Continually improving our platform and working with FBA sellers to drive results is a big part of what we do and we see the business growing into the future—some of the sellers we work with have gone on to become hundred million dollar brands,” Mitch said. “What this new investment and building out a strong leadership team is about harnessing all of this development talent and business intelligence and aiming it at the growing enterprise segment and helping major brands find their place and advertise on Amazon.”
Viral Launch has several pilots running with major brands and they have already signed one of the world’s largest consumer electronics brands, so it looks like the strategy is gaining traction as the company looks to do business with larger customers in addition to serving the small to mid-sized FBA sellers.
“Amazon has a huge addressable market to grow into and one that large brands are looking to capitalize on and our suite of products will help them grow,” Mitch said. “And because we have the ability to serve brands or all sizes or work with advertising agencies offering multi-tenant solutions, Viral Launch and the talent here in Indy will play a big role in the retail and advertising growth markets.”
The Amazon marketplace is hungry for thought leadership and the products and services that can help drive results. Viral Launch founder Casey Gauss—this year’s Rising Entrepreneur Mira Award winner—recently returned from speaking engagements in London, and will be heading to Israel to share his views on the Amazon marketplace in September.
“We have this significant tailwind working for us that has a lot to do with Casey’s vision and what he built by being ahead of the curve with leveraging Amazon data,” Mitch said. “At the end of the day, we’re a growing marketing tech company with a proven platform and data is at the center of everything we do.
“It’s all about what you do with the data that matters. It’s how you harness it and position it so that it’s useful and drives results for customers,” Mitch said. “I think Viral Launch is best positioned to lead the way on advertising on Amazon and that’s exciting for us as a company as well as for new hires and the Indianapolis community.”