SOURCE: Rewarder

Rewarder

October 24, 2012 07:30 ET

Rewarder Launches Social Marketplace to Personalize E-Commerce on a Global Scale

Company Raises $7M to Realize Vision of Mapping the World's Knowledge and Expertise

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 24, 2012) - Rewarder (http://rewarder.com), a social marketplace that connects individuals seeking unique knowledge and expertise with real people eager to help in exchange for monetary Rewards, today announced its public launch after an initial phase of private beta testing. Founded by StepUp Commerce, Inc. and Intuit, Inc. alums Kendall Fargo and Graham Rasmussen, Rewarder has closed a $7 million Series A funding round led by Granite Ventures and Radar Partners, which also includes leading angels such as Ron Conway, David Lee, and Kenny Lerer. Chris Hollenbeck of Granite Ventures and Doug Mackenzie of Radar Partners will join investors Eric Hahn and Trevor Traina on Rewarder's Board of Directors. 

"Rewarder builds on proven social marketplace models but also extends them into new territory," said Greg Sterling, senior analyst, Opus Research. "But perhaps most impressively the site has already solved the two biggest problems confronting most start ups: defining a viable business model and generating liquidity."

While in private beta, Rewarder has amassed more than 100,000 users who are actively engaging in the community by either posting Rewards or winning them by providing the necessary knowledge or expertise. Currently, more than $10 million in collective Rewards are available on Rewarder, representing tremendous economic opportunity for people seeking alternative sources of income.

Reward examples run the gamut -- from the highly personal to the practical -- including $40 for creating a travel itinerary customized to build memories with the grandchildren and $200 for locating a rare antique mining car. One user, Kevin Cook of Denver, owns the largest collection of dice in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Cook uses the site to locate hard-to-find additions to his collection, such as a pair of original Dungeons & Dragons dice for which he recently posted a Reward for $50.

"One of the reasons we are so excited about Rewarder is that it recognizes the unique knowledge and expertise each person has and rewards them for sharing it to help others," said Kendall Fargo, Rewarder founder and CEO. "We believe that by mapping the world's expertise, Rewarder will offer a more personally meaningful e-commerce experience."

In consumer research conducted by Rewarder last summer, more than 75 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay a Reward to someone who found their sought-after item or information. Possibly even more reflective of the concept's potential reach as a next generation social marketplace, more than 86 percent of respondents said they would share Rewards they thought a friend, relative, or colleague might be able to win. To incent engagement, Rewarder is currently offering up to $25 in matching funds for posting a Reward. 

By offering the "Rewarder Promise," users are reassured that they can participate with confidence. Rewards are reviewed to ensure they meet posting standards, and community members are asked to flag any Rewards they deem inappropriate. Users must validate their identities prior to participating on the site, and each user is given a reputation score based on his or her site usage.

To learn more information about how to participate in the Rewarder community, please visit http://rewarder.com. For additional press materials to download, please visit tinyurl.com/985h5av.  

Additional Quotes

  • "Rewarder recognized that social, peer-to-peer interactions can have a profound influence on e-commerce. Just like platforms that help us source great employees or connect with friends anywhere, Rewarder enables access to the global community so that help can be found wherever it exists -- either in a town nearby or a city halfway across the world. We love this company." - Chris Hollenbeck, Rewarder board member and investor from Granite Ventures

  • "With such a stellar leadership team, a clear niche, and a strong community already in place, I'm confident Rewarder will build momentum quickly." - Doug Mackenzie, Rewarder board member and investor from Radar Partners

About Rewarder.com
Rewarder is a social marketplace connecting those seeking unique knowledge or expertise with real people who are eager to help. People can post Rewards for just about anything, from a customized workout plan or travel itinerary to a rare collectible, long-lost friend, or missing pet. More than 100,000 people have already joined Rewarder, and the marketplace is home to more than $10 million in active Rewards, representing tremendous economic opportunity for our growing community. Launched in 2012 with $7M in Series A funding led by Granite Ventures and Radar Partners, Rewarder was founded by Kendall Fargo and Graham Rasmussen and is based in San Francisco. To learn more about how to participate in the Rewarder community, visit http://www.rewarder.com. Find Rewarder on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/rewarder) and Twitter @Rewarder (http://www.twitter.com/rewarder).

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