Verb Energy, makers of the eponymous energy bars, announced today via press release that it has raised a $3.5 million round of funding led Global Founders Capital, with Nebari Ventures, Great Oaks, Supernode, FJ Labs participating. This brings the company’s total amount of funding raised to $5 million.
In addition to further developing its line of green-tea powered caffeine energy bars, the new money will go towards building out the company’s text-based commerce platform. We first covered Verb last year, writing about the company’s use of humans — not chatbots — to process orders:
The company’s CTO built the text ordering platform using payment processor Stripe, which allows customers to simply text when they want their next box of Verb bars. But instead of automating the chat process, each text is answered by one of the co-founders through an online dashboard.
At that time, we questioned whether or not Verb would be able to keep up that human touch as the company scaled. While the company isn’t providing specific numbers with the funding news, it says that it more than tripled its subscriber base last quarter and that Verb processes millions of text messages annually. According to today’s press announcement, Verb said it “treat[s] all of our customers like real people and engage actively with them over text message,” but stopped short of saying that an actual human handles every order. We reached out for clarification.
UPDATE: Verb replied with the following statement via email: “Our order notification system is mostly automated, but our Customer Experience team oversees all customer conversations and responds to questions, dog pictures, and other comments with a personal touch.”
Verb is not the only burgeoning CPG company using text messaging as a commerce platform. Dirty Lemon, which makes bottled water with unconventional ingredients like charcoal and collagen, built its hip brand on the back of text-based ordering. Dirty Lemon received $15 million in funding from Coca-Cola at the end of last year.
Verb still has a ways to go before it reaches Dirty Lemon’s size, but with today’s fundraise, Verb should have the energy to scale up accordingly.