Podium planning to launch free version

Melisa D. Galvin

Podium will be launching a cost-free version to local businesses across the U.S. after raising $125 million in Series C funding. LEHI, UTAH – Podium, a customer communication platform used by companies in the furniture industry, will soon be offering a cost-free version of its product, Podium Starter. The new […]

Podium will be launching a cost-free version to local businesses across the U.S. after raising $125 million in Series C funding.

LEHI, UTAH – Podium, a customer communication platform used by companies in the furniture industry, will soon be offering a cost-free version of its product, Podium Starter.

The new basic package will allow businesses to interact with their customers and process contactless payments via messaging. The company said this is both convenient for its customers while also filling a crucial need during periods of social distancing due to COVID-19. Right now, companies can sign up for the wait list, with the product scheduled to go live in the coming weeks.

Podium has also raised $125 million in Series C funding led by YC Continuity, a startup fund based in Mountain View, Calif., with participation from Sapphire Ventures, Alkeon Capital, Recruit Co., IVP, Accel, Summit Partners and GV.

“Over the past five years, we have seen the fundamental way consumers interact with a local business change,” said Eric Rea, co-founder and CEO of Podium. “This round of funding coincides with one of the largest events that has impacted and changed business in our lifetime. The digital transformation that was already taking place has been exponentially accelerated.

“We are putting this round to use to not only make this transition the most effective for these businesses during this period of time but also to continue giving every local business the tools they need to grow and succeed moving into the future,” he added.

Podium launched in 2014 as a product to help local businesses get honest and timely online reviews. Since then, the company has developed an entire suite of messaging tools that allows any business with a physical location to interact with its customers.

The company’s platform now supports customer messaging, mobile payments, webchat, online reviews and customer feedback using messaging channels that customers use.

In just over five years, the Podium platform has been used by half of all smartphone owners in the U.S. to interact with a local business. Podium now has 45,000 businesses across the U.S., Canada and Australia using the platform, ranging from single-location businesses to large enterprise companies with thousands of physical locations.

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