Written by Seamus Kelleher.
The online retail industry soared to new heights over the past year, growing more than 15% and showing no signs of slowing down. With the number of consumers browsing and buying online predicted to hit 270 million by 2020, online sales represent a major opportunity for retailers in today’s increasingly digital age. Revenue Conduit in Akron, Ohio, helps retailers grow by providing an all-in-one service to attract, convert and retain online shoppers.
In 2012, co-founder Daniel Kurt and his wife were managing an online store through a popular e-commerce platform, Magento. When they wanted a better way to reach customers, they enlisted another service, Infusionsoft, an automated customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Kurt became frustrated with the inability to easily import data from his e-commerce platform to the CRM platform, so he called his friend and longtime problem-solving partner Parag Jagdale from his days at The Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business.
“Parag and I have been solving problems together since college. He built the first integration of our software, integrating my e-commerce data with the CRM software,” said Kurt. “There are so many online retailers with the same limitations and problems, that we both realized the opportunity and potential for a solution like this. That’s when we decided to turn this into a product.”
The company’s software allows e-commerce retailers to connect their online stores to major marketing automation platforms. This link drives more informed marketing decisions by enabling retailers to target customers based on attributes like their location, or buying behaviors such as how much they spent. Revenue Conduit’s integration simplifies and automates a previously tedious, time consuming process to help retailers uncover hidden opportunities and drive business.
“There was no service on the market doing what we do, and we genuinely recognized a need for the technology through our own experiences,” said Kurt. “There were a lot of companies doing very specific things in the e-commerce space, but none that could tie everything together.”
Kurt and Jagdale initially bootstrapped their startup with small personal investments in 2012, but they’ve since grown into a company of 16 employees. They have offices in Akron and Chicago, and give much credit to Ohio Third Frontier regional partners in northeast Ohio with helping them achieve early success. The company’s first outside funding was a grant from GLIDE’s Innovation Fund, as well as investment and crucial mentorship from JumpStart. Revenue Conduit is headquartered at Akron Global Business Accelerator.
Kurt and Jagdale are looking forward to continuing their company’s growth by identifying further opportunities in the e-commerce space and working to build their solutions. As the problem-solving partners look to the future, they remain grateful for Ohio’s entrepreneurial climate supporting them along the way.
“We’ve been fortunate as a startup in Ohio. The Midwest has a lot going for it right now, with a lot of hardworking, incredibly smart people,” said Kurt. “We have access to extremely talented people and support from the state. These entrepreneurial programs, and the state’s support of these initiatives, have helped us not only get off the ground, but continue to grow.”