Joyned, formerly known as Gamitee, announced Wednesday that it raised $4 million in seed funding to continue developing its e-commerce platform that puts merchants in the driver’s seat of social engagement.
CEO Jonathan Abraham explained that Gamitee means “joined” in Hebrew, but the Jerusalem-based SaaS company decided to spell it “joy” because it aims to “spark joy in its customers’ experiences.”
Leading the round is Arthur Stark, former president of Bed Bath & Beyond, Yair Goldfinger, founder of Dotomi and ICQ, and Rafael Ashkenazi, managing director and executive chairman at Hard Rock Digital.
“Arthur is a legend in retail, and he is helping us a lot in the U.S. market,” Abraham said. “Yari was the first to build a messaging app, and with Rafael we will penetrate the U.S. market and build our brand there.”
Rather than helping e-commerce companies do a better job advertising on social media, Joyned enables retailers to offer a collaborative shopping platform experience right from their websites without having to rely on the social media platforms, Abraham said. Now shoppers can stay on a retailer site and bring in friends to check out products with the click of a button.
Interestingly enough, Abraham came up with the idea for the company four years ago while planning his wedding. He had to pick out a suit to wear, and after appointing family members to help, his life became inundated with suit options and his computer had hundreds of tabs open. That’s when he had the idea for co-browsing and began developing the company with co-founder Michael Levinson.
Though co-browsing is not a new concept — Abraham said Netscape, Google and Zoom all attempted or did something similar to create collaboration on the web — Joyned is doing something more specific.
“The essence of joy is to empower merchants to own their shopping experience and let people shop together,” he added. “Joyned puts the social part into online shopping and narrows the gap between online and offline.”
Using Joyned, retailers are able to lower customer acquisition costs, optimize conversion rates and build loyalty. On average, retailers can expect overall sales increases of between 6% and 15% after users invite friends to join them, while also experiencing up to 250% in retention rates and a 40% increase in traffic, according to Abraham.
The new capital will lay the foundation for Joyned’s large-scale U.S. expansion, where the company is already seeing impact. The company wants to build on its marketing team in Florida and add sales and support functions.
Over the last year, the company launched its platform and saw sales grow rapidly, close to $500,000 and is on target to hit $1 million in sales, Abraham said.
Looking forward, Joyned will be going after a Series A as it closes three or four major brands in the U.S. to begin using the platform.
“Today, social media marketing is making big companies exist, but merchants are dependent on it,” Abraham added. “Instead of having a blackbox of engagements, we are bringing a new perspective that gives merchants the ability to go into the black box, and that gives them a huge competitive advantage.”