When I partnered with Eileen Campbell and my sister Jennifer Reid more than a year ago to create Reid Campbell Group, our goal was simple: to build a launchpad for innovation in consumer insights.
More than ever, companies need an accurate understanding of customer attitudes and opinions. But what became obvious to me, Eileen and Jennifer is that market research wasn’t evolving fast enough to keep up with how consumers are living their digital lives. We saw a big gap between how consumers communicate with each other and how companies conduct research.
Under Reid Campbell Group, we launched a tech arm, Rival Technologies, and a research and consulting business, Reach3 Insights.
We set out to challenge conventional thinking in our industry.
Feedback from the market research industry was swift — and very favorable. New customers like the Vancouver Canucks signed on right away. At the Insight Innovation Exchange in Austin, many research leaders came up to us excited about the opportunity to finally engage their customers via Facebook Messenger, SMS and other messaging platforms — channels and technologies that people actually use.
On top of that, we also got a lot of great buzz from the press. Rival was recently named one of Vancouver’s hottest startups. Our work got media coverage in VentureBeat, Marketing Dive and MarTech Advisor. And then just this month, both Rival and Reach3 made GreenBook’s GRIT Business & Innovation report — a surprising and proud moment for us given that we’ve only been in business for a year.
There’s also been a lot of excitement from investors about what we’re doing, and today I’m happy to share that we’ve raised $8.5 million — more than double of our target funding when we started this process. You can read more about it in our press release.
It goes without saying that we’re excited about this raise. I’d like to highlight three ways we’re using this funding.
Improving the customer experience
We are very grateful for the growing list of companies who became early adopters of our technology and Reach3’s approach. This is a list that now includes Johnson & Johnson, the Vancouver Canucks, Cineplex, Snapchat and A&W Canada.
Above all else, we are committed to the success of these customers. That’s why we are investing in our customer success and technical support teams to make sure we have the manpower required as we onboard more companies.
The conversational insight platform that we created is exciting, but also very new to the market. What we’re discovering is that many of the widely-accepted and long-standing best practices in market research don’t work in this new conversational paradigm. To that end, in addition to investing in our customer success, we’re also planning on educating our customers and the market in general on how to best use these new tools.
Over the past year, we’ve been busy adding innovations to Chat Lab, our end-to-end insights platform. Recently, for instance, we released topline reporting — attractive, mobile-first reports that allow you to see insights from your chats on any device. A voice chat solution (think research via Google Assistant or Google Home) is also now in beta.
We have big plans for our platform, and a big chunk of the funding will go towards it. We’ll have more to share about our product roadmap soon. Stay tuned.
Investing in people
Finally, but certainly not the least, we have big plans to expand both the Rival and Reach3 teams. As we work on new innovations on our platform, we need talented people to help us. As for Reach3, clients are knocking on their door, wanting to work with our world-class consultants and intrigued by our conversational approach. A part of the funding will go towards Reach3’s expansions. In a few months, Reach3 will have offices in LA and New York, adding to its current locations in San Francisco, Chicago, Vancouver and Toronto.
As you can see, we have big plans for this round of funding. This is the first time we’re bringing in outside investors, and I’m looking forward to bringing in their fresh perspectives.
As a second-time founder, I’m personally excited about this raise as it’s a huge validation that we’re solving a big problem in how companies engage with consumers.
Most importantly, I’d like to thank all our customers and partners so far who’ve placed their trust on us. This round of funding is not just a validation for us — it’s a validation that you’ve made the right decision in working with us. We appreciate the trust, and we look forward to working together as we re-imagine research.
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Andrew Reid is the founder and CEO of Rival Technologies. Based in Vancouver, Rival's voice, video and chat solutions let enterprises engage mobile-first consumers for real-time insights. Reid also founded Vision Critical.
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