Plum District Scores $20 Million and Buys Two Companies for Mom-Focused Daily Deals Site
Plum District, which relies on a salesforce of moms who acquire local discounts targeted at other mothers, has raised $20 million in venture capital.
Additionally, the San Francisco-based company is announcing this morning that it has acquired Chatterfly, a mobile platform focused on creating loyalty, and DoodleDeals, a deal site focused on the East Coast markets that has distribution deals with Time Out New York Kids, What to Expect and Amazon-owned Diapers.com.
Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Altogether, Plum District now operates in 27 markets and has a network of 300 salespeople — the company calls them “mom consultants.”
Plum District uses a multilevel marketing sales approach to source its deals, meaning that the same moms who are receiving the deals can also act as its salesforce (a la Mary Kay). The incentive for sourcing deals on anything from spa discounts to family outings is making money, of course.
The third round of funding was led by General Catalyst Partners; new participants in the round include Comcast Ventures and Duke University, with existing investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers also contributing. To date, the company has raised $30 million.
As part of the funding, Raul Vazquez, former president and CEO of Walmart.com, was named to the board of directors.
The capital will be used for geographic expansion, enhancing customer experiences and investments in technology.
The round also shows that while Groupon and LivingSocial may be the mainstream leaders and are capable of raising hundreds of millions of dollars, including yesterday’s news from LivingSocial that it had raised half of a $400 million round, there is still interest in companies that are focused on a specific niche.
Other more mainstream providers like BuyWithMe were unable to attract more financing. BuyWithMe was ultimately acquired by Gilt City at a massive discount.
Other companies are targeting mothers as well, including FamilyFinds in Los Angeles and even LivingSocial, which has a family-focused vertical.