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Social Commerce Pioneer 8thBridge Raises $10M in Series B Round Led by Trident Capital

Stacy Campbell-Kraft

Social Commerce Pioneer 8thBridge Raises $10M in Series B Round Led by Trident Capital

Series B Funding Will Be Used to Extend 8thBridge’s Lead in Rebuilding e-Commerce Around People

Minneapolis, MN – March 21, 2011 – 8thBridge, Inc., a social commerce platform merchants use to create social shopping experiences for their customers, today announced it has secured $10 million in a series B funding round led by venture firm Trident Capital. The additional capital garnered through this funding round will be used to expand 8thBridge’s current operations and to extend the company’s leading social commerce solutions. 8thBridge’s lead Series A investor, Split Rock Partners, also participated in this round.

“We sought out this new round of funding based upon an accelerated demand from merchants seeking e-commerce solutions that are built for the social graph,” said Wade Gerten, CEO and Founder of 8thBridge. “8thBridge became the pioneer in this new era of social commerce when we opened the first retail store on Facebook for 1-800-Flowers.com and the first Facebook travel store for Delta Air Lines. This new round of funding will allow us to extend our lead in rebuilding e-commerce from the ground up around people instead of pages.”

8thBridge monetizes social media for some of the largest merchants in the world including 1-800-Flowers.com, Lands’ End, Brooks Brothers, Delta Air Lines, Hallmark, HauteLook and the fastest-growing division of Avon called mark.

“The rise of Facebook as the next-generation web platform and of the data encapsulated in the Open Graph enable companies to establish new levels of understanding of and intimacy with their customers,” said Evangelos Simoudis, Managing Director of Trident Capital, who joins 8thBridge’s board of directors. “Companies must learn to effectively utilize social media in general and these resources in particular for marketing and commerce. 8thBridge offers unique solutions to power social commerce.”

“8thBridge has positioned itself as the market leader by providing the most innovative solutions for allowing customers to shop with their friends on Facebook. We expect the demand for social commerce to grow exponentially as more merchants seek to move beyond search and adapt to this platform shift,” said Michael Gorman, Managing Director of Split Rock Partners, 8thBridge board member and investor.

The funding will be used to enhance 8thBridge’s technology platform, 8thBridge StoreCast™, which powers millions of in-stream shopping experiences that include a quick checkout feature inside Facebook’s News Feed and Fan Pages. The store is brought to the customer rather than the other way around. Some of the major people-centric enhancements planned include improving the ability for you to receive highly personalized offers based on interests, providing you and your friends with more ways to take advantage of special social promotions, and making it easier for to receive rewards for advocating on behalf of your favorite merchants.

This new funding round follows the company’s recent name change in January – from Alvenda to 8thBridge. The name 8thBridge is a nod to the company’s pioneering development of social graph-based commerce, stemming from the Seven Bridges of Königsberg, the historical mathematical problem that served as the genesis of Euler’s Graph Theory.

About 8thBridge
8thBridge operates a social commerce platform merchants use to create social shopping experiences for their customers. Customers engage merchants on their own terms in a shopping experience that is portable, personalized, and participatory. Founded in 2008 in Minneapolis MN, 8thBridge is led by executives with domain expertise in e-commerce, direct marketing, and social media. History was made on July 8th, 2009 when Alvenda, currently known as 8thBridge, brought online retail to Facebook and again on August 12, 2010 for the travel industry. The Ticket Counter™ by 8thBridge was named one of the Top Ten Marketer Apps of 2010 by Advertising Age. 8thBridge, was named the grand prize winner of the 2009 Minnesota Cup and has been featured in Advertising Age, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, The New York Times, WWD, Bloomberg TV and TechCrunch. 8thBridge is funded by Split Rock Venture Partners and Trident Capital and is based in Minneapolis, MN. For more information on 8thBridge, visit www.8thbridge.com.

About Trident Capital
Trident Capital is a leading venture capital firm focused on Information Technology investments. Since its founding in 1993, Trident has managed $1.9 billion of capital and has invested in more than 160 companies. Trident’s Information Technology focus includes Enterprise and SaaS Software; Business and Information Services; Consumer Services; and Digital and Social Media. Trident brings to each portfolio company deep sector expertise, a network of relevant industry contacts, and a commitment to apply the full resources of the firm to promote the company’s growth and success. Trident has investment offices in Palo Alto, CA and Westport, CT. For more information, visit http://www.tridentcap.com.

About Split Rock Partners
Split Rock Partners, with offices in Minneapolis and Menlo Park, seeks emerging opportunities in software, Internet services and healthcare, primarily in the Upper Midwest and West Coast. Since 2005, Split Rock has raised $575 million over two funds. Representative software and internet services companies backed by Split Rock’s team include 8thBridge, Amcom, eBureau, Guardian Analytics, HireRight, LowerMyBills.com, MyNewPlace, QuinStreet (Nasdaq: QNST) and SPS Commerce (Nasdaq: SPSC). Additional information about the firm can be found at www.splitrock.com.