Community is a buzzy term right now. The basic idea is hardly new, but the pandemic has given it new life and enables more of us to see community as central to business growth. Companies across sectors are investing in new ways to more effectively bring people together, with a growing set of “community-led” or “community-driven” companies (see: Salesforce, Peloton and Starbucks) putting those initiatives at the center of GTM strategies.
It looks different for everyone, but the basic premise rings true for everyone: bringing people together around common causes. In the commercial world, that’s not just limited to customers and to products. As we expect brands to be more transparent about values, but also take action consistent with those values, we’re seeing companies build new communities (of customers, as well as partners and employees) for the purpose of improving corporate social impact, influencing public policy, and increasing civic engagement, among other causes.
Even as the world has reopened, people are choosing to form connections and build relationships with brands online rather than in-person. Many of those conversations are happening on Facebook and Twitter, which is hardly ideal for many reasons, including exposure to bots and trolls, lack of data ownership and personalized actions, privacy issues, etc. As companies look to scale initiatives, increase engagement, and effectively measure these programs, solutions are lackluster.
These are a few reasons why Countable has grown nearly fourfold this year – and why we’re excited to lead the Series A (which follows our seed investment in 2017).
Leveraging years of expertise, Countable is a brand-safe platform that brings communities together for some of the world’s most innovative companies, turning audiences into brand advocates central to helping those brands grow. Whether as standalone websites or integrated within an existing digital presence, Countable offers clients a menu of engagement features, including polls, petitions, and user-generated videos, as well as valuable audience data and performance metrics to bring their programs to life. For example, Patagonia and Levi’s both worked with Countable to promote corporate Election Day policies to employees, while DoorDash uses Countable to educate and activate its growing DoorDasher community in NYC.
If the most important part of an online community is to create passionate members, but also mobilizing those audiences and inspiring action, Countable’s history speaks for itself. A core part of the company’s journey has been its work bringing “civic engagement into the palms of our hands.” The platform has enabled millions of citizens to connect with government representatives, stay informed on issues and legislation that directly impacts them, and influence Congress with one-tap voting. For a period of time following the presidential election in 2016, it was one of the most searched apps in the Apple Store and also the most downloaded iOS app in the news category, second to Twitter. GQ even called Countable “Tinder, but for Unsexy Congressional Bills!”
What’s less well-known is that Countable has explored enterprise uses of its platform since its outset, signing early customers like Starbucks and Uber that saw the opportunity early on to galvanize communities in support of issues important to them. Now focused almost exclusively on empowering corporations to build communities and with years of expertise already built up, we believe Countable yet again has found its moment and couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity ahead.
It’s clear that community building has finally found its foothold among enterprises and will only get more attention and investment as a strategic differentiator. As more begin to recognize this opportunity is much more than just a buzzword, we believe Countable will be the platform of choice.