Having discovered an interest in product discovery, Ebates has ponied up some cash to support a company in that space.
TechCrunch reports that the online cash-back service has invested $8 million in Influenster, a product discovery and review platform, in a Series A round of funding.
The funds, shares the outlet, will go towards scaling Influenster’s service in order for it keep pace with its rapidly expanding user base, as well as improving the platform’s ability to track the variety of products that are made available for customer review on its site and mobile app.
TechCrunch notes that the New York-based Influenster, founded in 2010 (by Chief Executive Aydin Acar and President Elizabeth Scherle), presently hosts more than 6 million of those user-generated reviews covering 1.5 million products. Forty employees at Influenster are tasked with monitoring and curating the assessments, which increase by more than 500,000 each month.
According to the agreement surrounding the Series A investment, Ebates VP of Strategic Alliances Ken Hirschman will join Influenster’s board of directors. The TechCrunch story posits that Ebates’ role in the further development of the product discovery platform could increase its own reach in the realm of online shopping twofold — in online reviews, as well as purchasing.
Ebates, adds the outlet, is a subsidiary of the Japanese holding corporation Rakuten, which was a lead investor in Pinterest and also has partial ownership of Viki (an entertainment service) and Viber (a messaging service).