Fivestars, an integrated payment processing and marketing platform powering the largest local commerce network in the U.S., today announces it has raised $52.5 million in a combination of Series D equity and debt financing.
Fivestars' unique platform is helping small businesses, the lifeblood of our local communities, recover faster by providing payments technology, automated marketing, and access to a network of local shoppers.
Fueled by a community of over 60 million members (1 in 6 Americans), Fivestars exists to drive retention, engagement and new customer acquisition for local businesses, and in the last year alone, the company powered $3 billion in sales to local small businesses. Even in the wake of the pandemic, over one million new shoppers joined the Fivestars network each month and 14,000 local small businesses used Fivestars to reach out and engage with new and existing customers.
“Our goal is to bring financial technology to Main Street and expand our local commerce network,” says Victor Ho, CEO of Fivestars. “For far too long independent merchants were forgotten, but they are the heart of local economies and worth fighting for. This is why we’re creating a network that allows merchants to increase sales and drive retention.”
This year has taken a toll on local economies, however, the pandemic has accelerated a digital transformation, with many merchants looking for new technological innovations to help them rebound. Fivestars’ proprietary platform offers:
• Each swipe, dip or tap of a credit card means a new customer is added to a merchant’s marketing database, allowing merchants
• to retarget customers and bring them back in the door again
• Seamless POS Integration:
• The platform connects with 500+ POS systems, enabling access in a heavily fragmented market
• Marketing Automation:
• Businesses can connect with customers via text, email or within the Fivestars app and run personalized promotions to
• eliminate slow days
• Customer Network:
• Algorithms facilitate targeted cross-promotions and discovery across a network of over 60 million shoppers
“Fivestars has been a huge help for us during this time,” said Natasha Teague of Tropibowls in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “The value of being able to communicate with our customers and share updates in real-time has been immeasurable. The power of Fivestars’ expansive network and payment tech has made our reopening process seamless and a lifesaver as we navigate new needs as a result of the pandemic.”
The Series D is led by Salt Partners, with additional participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, DCM Ventures, Menlo Ventures and HarbourVest Partners. Salt Partners is a private investment firm whose founders launched and sold five fintech companies including StoneCo (NASDAQ: STNE), a Brazilian payment processing company which went public five years after inception at a $9 billion valuation with prominent investors including Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway and Jack Ma’s Ant Financial. Salt Partners has invested in Fivestars because they believe it’s imperative for small businesses to engage directly with their customers to remain competitive, and that Fivestars is the company to drive that change through their mission and innovative payments offerings in America.
With $145.5 million in total funding to-date, the new funds will be used to develop and scale the company’s integrated payments and marketing CRM platform for brick-and-mortar merchants.