Greenspring Associates’ Portfolio Impact program is dedicated to leveraging the firm’s network among corporates for the benefit of the funds and companies with which we partner. One of the most impactful ways we effect this effort is through highly curated, intimate events bringing together diverse perspectives – including those of top venture-backed companies and senior executives from corporations. 

Recently, the team co-hosted the 8th installment of Brand Fusion, an event that highlights leading-edge marketing startups relevant to brand marketers. Since its inception, Brand Fusion has orchestrated nearly 2,000 meetings between 250 venture-backed startups and 150 of the world’s top brand marketers. In an invitation-only setting, these meetings are individually curated to address specific business challenges for each brand and connect them with startups that provide a compelling solution. 

The event had 33 participants, including large brands such as Nestle, Kroger, Clorox, and Brown & Forman, and presenting companies Salsify, backed by Underscore VC and Greenspring Associates, Commerce Layer, backed by Benchmark, ChatDesk, backed by Fika Ventures, Tundra, backed by Redpoint Ventures, Kustomer, backed by Boldstart Ventures and Redpoint Ventures, SuperSide, backed by High Alpha, and Frameplay.

Many of the companies that presented at Brand Fusion shared the products and platforms they have developed to help business challenges that brands are facing. A summary and highlight reel for each presenting company can be found below.

Jason Purcell, Co-Founder, and CEO of Salsify, a product experience management platform, addressed the strategic shift in the consumer and retail markets, what he is seeing as it relates to COVID-19, and how brands are adjusting. The mass market is shifting to the masses of market, as the customer journey is no longer linear, creating a proliferation of ways in which the consumer can buy, research, and discover products from social commerce. This poses an interesting challenge for brands, as they experience a higher volume of channels and less predictable volume. Brands are starting to leverage the digital shelf as means of generating brand awareness and engagement among consumers.

With transformative changes occurring in the customer journey, branding is important now more than ever. Branding at its best should include visibility everywhere that the consumer is engaging with the market, such as historically unbranded detail pages, Amazon and other locations. Brands are beginning to embrace this notion and change how they think about the customer funnel. With respect to COVID, the massive growth in ecommerce makes it an opportune time for brands to accelerate some of the projects that have been on the backburner and evolve in response to changing consumer behavior.

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Commerce Layer is a headless e-commerce platform and order management system intended to develop online sales strategies. The company's platform offers to add global shopping capabilities to any website, mobile app, chatbot, and IoT devices, enabling clients to focus on personalization of the customer experience and solving complex problems they can meet with the best tools available. For more information, visit http://www.commercelayer.io/.

ChatDesk is a customer care application intended to empower businesses to enhance the customer experience. The company's application delivers sales and customer care via an innovative machine learning software in social and messaging applications and offers real-time management insights, enabling businesses to reduce costs and serve their customers better. For more information, visit http://www.chatdesk.com/.

Tundra is an online wholesale marketplace intended to buy products instantly and directly from suppliers. The company's marketplace facilitates wholesale transactions where buyers get the highest impact for their dollar by buying directly from the supplier without any fees, enabling businesses around the world to buy and sell products instantly and online with freight included, simple checkout, and easy delivery. For more information, visit http://www.tundra.com/.

 

Kustomer is a CRM platform designed to offer proactive customer service and support. The company's platform provides a customer-centric tool that unifies everything that agents and teams need in one place to manage customer relationships and resolve issues, enabling clients to manage their business internally and communicate with customers externally. For more information, visit http://www.kustomer.com/.

FramePlay is an online software platform designed to pioneer innovation in the video game advertising industry. The company's platform allows brands to advertise in the games of game developers through SDK installation, enabling game developers to generate significant revenue and focus on developing the games and advertisers reach gamers worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.frameplay.gg/.

SuperSide provides designing services intended to create more equal economic opportunities globally by finding and growing the world's quality creative talent. The company's services offer web, mobile, brand identity, illustration, infographic designing among other services, enabling clients to have fast, reliable, price-predictable, and fully managed service under one hood. For more information, visit http://www.superside.com/.

With the massive pandemic-induced shift in consumer behavior and resultant growth in ecommerce market penetration, we believe brands will continue to look to innovative, venture-backed technologies as they adapt for the future. Looking forward, Greenspring’s Portfolio Impact team will continue to curate events that provide meaningful opportunities for the stakeholders in the innovation economy to connect and gather insights that are mission-critical to their business, with the mission of creating initial connections that yield valuable customer, partner, and prospective acquirer relationships and endure well after the last attendee has gone home (or logged off).

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