Kate McVicar recently published an article on eVouch that covers business model pivots, e-commerce and future plans in the National Business Review (NBR). Below is a brief overview of the recent NBR writeup that touches on what problem eVouch is addressing and how.
eVouch "- a marketing services company secured $500,000 in a pre-seed round led by New Zealand venture capital firm Global from Day 1 (GD1)." - NBR.
eVouch has packed a lot into its first three years, with a business model pivot and funding for its pre-seed round already secured. We are excited to welcome them to the GD1 family. They have already seen incredible success with global brands and this funding will help with international expansion.
"In order to receive the funding from a United States-based venture capital firm that Yao didn’t name, the company recently changed its shareholding to be 100% owned by eVouch USA. Yao said the majority of the company’s clients or brands operate in the US, with a scattering in Australia, Singapore, and Canada. Brands from European countries are also interested in eVouch." - NBR
Co-founder Eugene Yao started the company with Alonzo Nieves and Angie Fan in 2019. Currently, eVouch has about 500 brands working with the company and five employees all working full-time alongside a part-time intern. In 2019 the company had 150 restaurants and about 8000 users when Covid-19 struck and the country went into lockdown. By the time the third lockdown rolled around, the company had limited options but to pivot. The article touches on how eVouch addresses hefty customer acquisition costs, and the challenges of the traditional influencer marketing model.
When consumers look at influencers and see affiliate codes, they feel like they’re being sold to and recommendations are no longer genuine. Consumers are losing trust and that is where eVouch steps in. More in alignment with the concept of micro-influences, eVouch enables everyday people to share places and brands they genuinely love. eVouch works on the premise that, in exchange for a benefit such as a future discount, a customer promotes the company to its circle of followers and consequently expands the audience reach of the company and makes money through a monthly fee.
“You trust what your friends are doing, you’re constantly paying attention to what your friends are up to.” Yao explained.
eVouch started fundraising in March this year (2022) with globally recognised tech individuals expressing interest and deciding to invest alongside us and Phase One Ventures. In total, eVouch raised about $500,000 that will go toward providing eVouch with a cash runway of just over two years to hire another developer and develop and scale up the product.
“For our pre-seed, it’s less about super scale, it’s more about understanding our customers and really nailing helping them get the best for their word of mouth.” Phase One Ventures founding chief executive Mahesh Muralidhar is a mentor for Yao, and eVouch is part of Muralidhar’s incubator program to produce 10 Kiwi tech unicorns by 2026. The writeup concludes by highlighting future and growth plans.
"Yao hopes to take the business back beyond eCommerce to help a range of businesses such as restaurants, events, and other companies that sit beyond that eCommerce space. It’s also considering branching into both the sustainability space and the charity sector through the same concept. Having a US registration should help the company when it decides to raise its first seed round within the next two years, with a more streamlined and faster process for investors." - NBR