“Acknowledge yourself as the chairperson at the centre of affairs management for your dreams. Take the chair and be at the fore-front,” is a quote from ‘Shaping the dream’ and couldn’t ring more true for eVouch. This ambitious young startup is the result of a ‘pandemic pivot’ that saw the team build a brand-new app in just 8 week, as part of the Shopify 2021 App Challenge.
Today, eVouch is helping businesses globally to utilise their customers’ personal networks to extend their marketing reach and has quickly gained over 500 customers and closed a pre-seed raise of half a million dollars.
Unlike referral programmes which ask someone to target only a handful of people in their network, eVouch enables businesses to tap in to absolutely everyone in a customer’s social network. The app enables businesses to create and upload high quality creative and verify that the creative has been posted, as well as taking care of sending the customer a voucher for their efforts. It’s easy, and it’s frictionless.
Investors include GD1, Phase One Ventures, Uniservices, Shopify’s ex-GM and scout funds for some of the world’s largest VCs, with eVouch currently delivering an impressive minimum of 17 x ROI for business owners.
“As a brand new business, we have been really privileged to partner with the experienced operators at GD1 who have offered us invaluable go-to-market guidance, international operations, and advice leading up to our funding round,” says Eugene Yao, Founder of eVouch.
We share a little more about their journey...
Company stage: Seed
Founded in: 2019
Staff count: 3
Locations: Based in Auckland, servicing worldwide
500 customers within months of launch
Delivers a minimum of 17 x ROI for business owners
‘Featured App’ in the Shopify 2021 App Challenge
eVouch had its beginnings in helping local restaurants gain business through word of mouth from diners sharing on social media - a concept that served them well until COVID-19 all but destroyed the hospitality industry. Widespread lockdowns halted all business for the new startup; but it also gave Eugene time to ‘think outside of the box’.
“A few months prior, I had taken a photo of my brunch and posted it on my Instagram. A few minutes later, a friend walked into the cafe - they had decided to head out after seeing my pic. That was a ‘lightbulb’ moment. I made a sale, although I’m just a software developer! The power of word of mouth is well known, but with social media, we have the power to scale that word of mouth. I wanted to build out eVouch to combine the trust inherent in word of mouth with the scale of social media - which has great synergy with ecommerce,” explains Eugene.
“Marketing is changing, it’s all about community now, and what better way to build community than through the word of mouth of your shoppers? At eVouch we’re building a way for all businesses to access the most authentic form of marketing, at scale. That’s more powerful than any ad you can ever pay for. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small cafe or a multinational e-commerce chain - we exist to make marketing easy, authentic, and automated,” he adds.
eVouch helps businesses to turn their customers into authentic brand advocates through incentivising them to share their experience with their personal networks via high-quality, branded images, in return for rewards. The platform is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and has experienced ‘viral’ growth globally - with some eVouch customers reporting 36 x the marketing ROI for their spend. Over 500 ecommerce brands all over the world currently use the app, including Solawave and Natural Patch, with the majority located in the US.
With eVouch, customers of Shopify websites can post an Instagram story about the brand; and instantly be rewarded for their marketing effort just like influencers. At scale, this democratises marketing to a consumer level, while enabling brands access to the power of word of mouth.
Bundled into a single experience, eVouch provides all the tools, tricks and gadgets, brands need to get their own customers talking about them - while simultaneously tracking how far the word has spread, and how effective it has been in converting new customers.
eVouch plans to use the funds raised through its latest round to support growing international demand, and is looking to bring in additional developer support.
Modern marketers understand Intuit’s Scott Cook’s adage that ‘a brand is no longer what we tell the consumers it is, it is what consumers tell each other it is’. Merchants are feeling the pain of not being able to market in the same way due to changes in iOS; and they’re looking for new ways to reach their audiences. What Eugene and the eVouch team have built allows companies to tap into the power of social endorsement, at scale, extending the traditional marketing model of 1:1; to that of 1:1 to many. It’s clever; and it’s a concept that we expect to catch on as the future of social share marketing,
For more information please visit
October 5th 2022, NBR - https://www.nbr.co.nz/business/evouch-raises-half-a-million-in-pre-seed-round/
October 5th 2022, Scoop NZ - https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU2210/S00047/evouch-takes-the-future-of-social-sharing-global.htm
October 12th 2022, Startup Daily Interview- https://www.ausbiz.com.au/media/startup-daily-october-12-highinterest-investment-platforms-raisings-femaleled-tech-start?videoId=24775 (Interview segment between 16:40 - 22:20)
October 20th 2022, Startup Daily Article - https://www.startupdaily.net/topic/funding/kiwi-social-media-marketing-startup-evouch-banks-nz500000-pre-seed/?