Singapore-based ReferralCandy first started after Dinesh Raju met up with a friend who was wondering how he could acquire new customers through word-of-mouth for his business using the plethora of rising social media sites, back in late 2010. Thus, it wasn’t as big a surprise when Raju told e27 that almost everyone involved in its seed and Series A round were “referred” by friends or prior investors.
ReferralCandy’s parent company, Anafore, announced yesterday that it had received S$1 million (US$788,000) in funding led by Innosight Ventures, with participation from John Kim and Ramanan Raghavendran of Amasia, and existing investors BAF Spectrum. In addition, Tom Clayton, CEO, Bubbly, will join the company’s advisory board. Raju said, “The investment community in Singapore is pretty small. … And our new investors were all introduced through referrals.”
The new injection of funds will be used for global expansion and product development. According to an official release, ReferralCandy is looking to enter non-English markets and come up with referral solutions for offline businesses. Raju said that the company is also looking into building a next-generation social referral tool for consumers to discover friends they can help via online networking platforms.
He added, “People have naturally evolved to help their friends. The next-generation of marketing tools will leverage this.” The company has already started beta-testing the tool with Twitter.
Currently, ReferralCandy works as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tool for retailers to get more sales by rewarding customers for referring their friends and family members to purchase via the online store. It claims to have hundreds of clients globally, with names such as 99Designs and Bigstockphoto in its clientele.
While the company started with only three employees, it has grown to a good size of 10 and is looking to hire.