Given the current global climate and an increase in online shopping, consumer startups are focusing more than ever on crafting the right online experience for their customers, to retain users and also reach new markets. But this can be especially challenging when founders don’t have the resources to optimize their digital experience, or have limited funding for online paid marketing.
With paid marketing becoming exceedingly expensive and fundraising off the table for many businesses, alternative funding paired with paid growth expertise is an alternative way for e-commerce founders to grow their market reach.
DRVE is a hybrid investor: not an agency, not a venture firm. They provide capital, people, systems, network and expertise so brands can grow their online revenue in an efficient, risk-free and scalable way.
“This is a key moment to push forward with support to ecommerce businesses and its entrepreneurs. We believe that there are a lot of founders that could focus on online revenue growth if they had access to the right combination of paid marketing expertise and capital. And that is where we stand: we focus on enabling these brands’ performance making sure they have access to funding and know-how to scale up”, said Oliver Mauss, Founder and CEO of DRVE.
Established in 2018 and with offices across Europe, DRVE has invested in over 100 ecommerce companies globally, with more than 60 of those investments coming from its flagship programme ‘Velocity’.
Velocity is for revenue-generating businesses looking to scale significantly, increase market share or break into new markets. When companies join Velocity, they sign up for fully-managed experience: an expert team invests and conducts execution on their behalf.
Framed as an alternative to traditional fundraising, Velocity provides growth capital in return for a percentage of online revenue. This provision percentage represents everything DRVE needs to fund and manage brands’ paid marketing activities. It includes the budget itself and all the resources (i.e. systems, people, partnerships, etc) required to make it generate revenue performance. A provision is typically a charge between 30% and 50% on online revenue.
On the other hand, their FastForward programme also provides capital and know-how but in this case, DRVE pre-finances the paid marketing budget and provides insights into how to manage the ad spend while entrepreneurs remain in charge of the strategy and implementation.
This access to flexible funding allows business owners to capitalize on ecommerce opportunities, as they get funds to increase their online sales and seasoned advice on how to deploy it to grow their return on ad spend. It is revenue-based financing in exchange for a monthly fee and a percentage on online sales.
Both programmes are designed as long term partnerships and businesses usually receive further financing as they grow.
How does it work?
Once a company applies to join a programme, DRVE analyzes their data and online brand presence to determine the best path to encourage compounded growth. Companies that qualify get onboarded within 10 business days by connecting marketing and ecommerce accounts to DRVE’s bank accounts. With all integrated, DRVE assesses existing digital marketing efforts for rightsizing and performance. After that, their experts start scaling online sales so entrepreneurs can focus on other aspects of their business.
How do I apply?
Applications for Velocity and FastForward programmes are open. The deadline to apply and join FastForward is on November 15th 2020, whereas Velocity has rolling admissions. Find out which programme works for you and apply here.