CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
Venture capital firm Silver Creek Ventures is part of the company’s third funding round, along with existing investors Menlo Ventures and Storm Ventures. Cellfire plans to invest in sales and marketing, enhanced functionality and new partnerships.
Cellfire Inc. has raised an additional $12 million in capital in the third round of funding for the company whose technology enables retailers and manufacturers to offer coupons and discounts to consumers through their mobile phones.
Dallas-based venture capital firm Silver Creek Ventures joined with existing investors Menlo Ventures and Storm Ventures, both Silicon Valley private equity firms, in providing the funds. Cellfire, which was founded in 2005, plans to use the funds to expand sales and marketing efforts, enhance product functionality and pursue new partnerships.
"We have seen Cellfire grow rapidly, securing blue-chip clients and top-tier relationships with an impressive combination of innovative technology, smart business strategy and strong carrier support," says Mark Masur, general partner of Silver Creek Ventures. "Cellfire is clearly a leader in mobile marketing and we expect them to expand into new markets and opportunities in the years to come."
Silver Creek’s investment is significant given its prior record of successful investments in the wireless arena, says Brent Dusing, CEO of Cellfire, which is based in San Jose, CA. "We have come a long way over the past three years, and yet there are many more opportunities that we see in the future,” Dusing says. “The additional funds will help us leverage the significant market opportunity at our door step."
Cellfire’s service, which is free to the consumer, transmits offers that are displayed on cell phone screens. Among the companies that have worked with Cellfire are restaurant chain Hardee’s, Hollywood Videos, music retailer Virgin Megastores and MerchantCircle, an online network of small business owners.