Gener8tor Grad Review Trackers Gets $2M From Wisconsin Investors

6/17/14Follow @XconomyWI

Fresh off its participation in Gener8tor’s startup accelerator program in Wisconsin, Chicago-based Review Trackers has raised $2 million in Series A funding, mostly from Badger State investors.

Review Trackers, which built software to help businesses monitor and analyze what customers say about them online, previously raised $160,000 in seed money from angel investors, friends, and company founders, said CEO and founder Chris Campbell.

Milwaukee-based CSA Partners led the Series A round, with participation by American Family Ventures, the VC arm of Madison-based American Family Insurance; Milwaukee-area angel investor Jeff Rusinow; Madison-based SymphonyAlpha Ventures; and additional investors from Chicago and other areas, Campbell said. The company closed the round two months after completing Gener8tor’s three-month accelerator program in Madison, WI.

With so many of his entrepreneurial peers moving their startups to either coast, Campbell said he’s happy to keep Review Trackers in the Midwest.

“I feel excited that we’re a Midwest company, and we get to work with Midwest investors,” Campbell said. “That’s becoming rarer and rarer.”

Campbell intends to use the new funds to grow his company’s staff from 14 to 25 by the end of the year. The startup plans to further develop its product and expand its business as well.

Review Trackers scours popular forums like OpenTable, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor, along with niche consumer feedback sites, in order to help its clients better interact with customers, manage their online reputations, and boost sales by gleaning insights about target customers.

The stakes are high for businesses, according to Review Trackers, because research has shown that a one-star swing on a rating site like Yelp can mean thousands of dollars in sales gained—or lost.

“A negative online review is equivalent to someone standing outside your business holding a sign telling people to not go in,” Campbell said. “Review Trackers is to online reviews what Hootsuite is to social media. We’re committed to making it simple for businesses to efficiently manage and monetize customer feedback.”

Review Trackers primarily serves small businesses, franchises, and independent service providers, including restaurants, car dealerships, and doctors. Campbell says the company is on pace this year to sign up businesses that collectively operate in more than 20,000 locations. Its customers include major brands like Chili’s, Subaru, and Universal Orlando Resort.

Social-media monitoring and reputation management has become a crowded field in recent years. Review Trackers’ competitors include California-based Reputation.com, which has raised more than $71 million in venture capital, according to SEC filings.

Campbell, who has a background in digital marketing, founded Review Trackers in 2012 and launched the product in January 2013. He said his company is gaining market traction through strong customer service, accurate and up-to-date data, and affordable products and services—$29 per month per client location, versus a $200 to $300 per month charge for some competitors.

“We’re excited to see what we can do…with more capital,” Campbell said. “It’s going to be a tough road, but we’ve built a great company and I’m so excited to see it grow even faster.”

Jeff Engel is the editor of Xconomy Wisconsin. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @XconomyWI

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