April 19, 2023
The $5 million in new capital that Tiicker Inc. raised from investors will go to support the fintech’s ambitious growth plans over the next few years.
The Grand Rapids- and Detroit-based firm that works with publicly traded companies to provide loyalty perks to small retail shareholders wants to double its workforce to 20 by the fourth quarter with additional sales, marketing and client account staff, founder and CEO Jeff Lambert told Crain’s. Tiicker also plans to add new features to the web-based platform and apps, and to form additional partnerships with brokerage and retail investor platforms.
Tiicker now has more than $500 million in individual brokerage accounts linked to the platform, which retail investors can use to receive loyalty perks and rewards such as product discounts from public companies in which they invest. The number of public companies that use Tiicker to connect with retail shareholders has grown from fewer than 10 two and a half years ago to nearly 50 today.
Backed by the latest capital infusion, Tiicker targets to grow to 500 companies on the platform in the next few years, Lambert said.
“We have certainly aggressive growth plans,” said Lambert, who predicts that direct-to-shareholder marketing will grow from an estimated $10 million industry today to $100 million in three years and $1 billion within five.
“Proof of concept, I would say, was our first capital raise and this is really ‘we built it and they are coming.’ This would be the acceleration phase,” he said. “This is not about incremental growth. This is about exponential growth.”
Tiicker creates a “bridge” between public companies and retail investors and validates ownership so they can receive loyalty rewards, Lambert said.
The seed capital round that Tiicker recently closed included individual investors, East Lansing-based venture capital firm Red Cedar Ventures, and family office Baysore Advisory Group, Lambert said. Flipturn Ventures, an early-stage investment arm of Lambert, also participated in the capital round. A majority of the investors involved in the round are based in Michigan, Lambert said.
The round elevated the amount of capital that Tiicker has raised since forming three years ago to more than $8 million.
In 2022, Tiicker recorded a nearly 300-percent increase in the number of companies and brands offering perks to retail shareholders through the platform, and the number of registered users grew nearly120 percent. New partnerships included the investor news and information platform Benzinga and movie studio Lionsgate.
A barrier to growth has been a lack of awareness for direct-to-shareholder marketing. Public companies with thousands of shareholders generally focus their attention on large institutional investors, rather than small individual, retail investors, he said.
Lambert co-founded Tiicker in Detroit in mid 2020. The company’s headquarters moved last fall to downtown Grand Rapids in a five-story office building Lambert acquired for $3 million. The building is a few doors away from the headquarters of Lambert & Co., his public relations and investor relations firm.
The move was “a reflection of the emerging tech culture in Grand Rapids, lifestyle benefits, and kind of the synergy between the Lambert family of companies,” Lambert said. To read the original article, visit https://www.crainsgrandrapids.com/news/banking-finance/shareholder-loyalty-fintech-tiicker-raises-5m-to-fuel-aggressive-growth-strategy/
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