Cascadia Capital Advises Influenster in a Strategic Investment from Ebates, a Rakuten Subsidiary

April 13, 2016

Tombstone_Influenster_dateWe are pleased to announce that our client Influenster, the go-to web and mobile-based product discovery platform and online community, has received a strategic investment from Ebates, the leading online cashback shopping platform and subsidiary of the Japanese holding corporation, Rakuten. Cascadia Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor to Influenster in this transaction.

Influenster’s platform offers its community of more than 1.7 million socially-savvy members the opportunity to find new products and get advice to make better informed purchasing decisions. Members engage with the platform via user-generated content including reviews, photos, product Q&As and documented experiences in the form of social sampling and digital challenges, as well as coupons and offers that they discover along the way. Through these core offerings, Influenster offers users a seamless, immersive social experience that fully integrates products into their everyday lives, in turn rendering the company’s platform a conduit for brands to converse directly in the digital sphere with a highly engaged customer base.

The Ebates investment will enable Influenster to accelerate its growth strategies and scale more quickly, and the partnership between the two companies creates a more comprehensive solution based on a shared vision, providing consumers with a better online shopping experience.

“Influenster has created a truly unique position in the social commerce market by connecting brands directly with a community of socially active shoppers through user-generated content,” said Teague Collins, a Vice President in Cascadia Capital’s Technology practice. “Influenster fits squarely in a sector where we have deep relationships, and we were able to facilitate a partnership that allows them to further cement their status as the leading consumer product discovery platform.”

“Cascadia Capital has been instrumental in helping us find the right strategic partner to accelerate our growth. Through their expertise in digital media and social commerce, they connected us with Ebates, which we had an instant synergy with and a mutual vision for empowering shoppers,” said Aydin Acar, CEO and Co-Founder of Influenster.

The Influenster transaction follows on the heels of three prior deals completed by the Cascadia Technology team thus far in 2016 and is the first transaction in 2016 by Cascadia’s Digital Media, Internet and Consumer Technology practice.

For more information about this transaction, please contact:

Paul Vander Vort
Managing Director
(612) 350-1594

About Influenster
Influenster is a product discovery platform and reviews website that enables consumers to find new products and get advice to make informed purchases. Members use Influenster to explore the latest products, gain fresh insight, pick up new tips and share their opinions with others. We help our members compare products and guide them on how products can be integrated into their lives. We inspire a love for products and encourage discovery, conversations and reviews.

The Influenster community of more than 1.7 million members is still rapidly growing. These product mavens with a heavy social media presence use their influence to spread the word about the products they know. Since the launch of Influenster’s review platform three years ago, over six million reviews have been created on more than one million products.

Headquartered in New York City, Influenster was founded by Elizabeth Scherle and Aydin Acar in 2010. For more information or to become an Influenster, visit:

About Ebates
Ebates rewards consumers with cash back on purchases while also providing access to thousands of coupons, discounts, promotions and special deals, including free shipping, at over 2,000 retailers. Free membership allows consumers to shop online at their favorite retailers while earning a percentage of every purchase they make, paid quarterly in the form of a “Big Fat Check” or through PayPal. From niceties to necessities, members of Ebates benefit from incentives at top-name merchants for everything from furniture to fashion and appliances to airfare. Because shopping with Ebates is hassle-free-no rebate forms to fill out and no points or miles to redeem-the site supports a strong community of savvy shoppers across the country and around the world. Founded in 1998 and acquired by Rakuten, Inc. in 2014, Ebates is headquartered in San Francisco.


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