Drum, a new company from the team behind fintech unicorn Kabbage, is launching with an $11 million seed funding round from Propel Venture Partners, Felicis Ventures, BlueRun Ventures, American Express Ventures, GroTech Ventures, Wildcat Venture Partners, BoxGroup and SV Angel.
Founded by co-founders Rob Frohwein, Kathryn Petralia and Troy Deus, Drum is a three-sided marketplace that lets contract “Drummers” promote and sell products and services from businesses to consumers. At its core, the web platform and app lets anyone become a gig economy salesperson.
“Everyone is looking for a new, meaningful channel for customer acquisition and would love to have a sales force talking about their products and services,” Frohwein shared with Hypepotamus in an email interview.
“Now, standing up a sales force is easier than launching a Google AdWords campaign,” said Frohwein, who will serve as CEO of Drum. “With Drum, businesses of all types, from digital brands to local small businesses, can launch sales efforts in any geography, in real time, giving them a sales boost where, when and how they want.”
Drum has three targets: businesses who want to sell products or services; “drummers” who promote and sell to make money; and consumers who purchase offers.
“Do not think of this as a self discovery commerce platform — that’s something that Amazon is great at. Think of this as a sales platform where people are sharing opportunities with one another based on their knowledge fo the person and his/her interests,” explains Frohwein.
A business puts an offer on the platform using the Drum web platform — say, a deal on baked goods or discounted event photography services.
Drummers, who are 1099 contractors, can choose which offers to share with potential customers, who can be their friends, co-workers, random people on the street, whomever. They share offers using the Drum iOS or Android app to create a custom referral text, QR code, or social media post.
Once the sale is completed, the Drummer earns their percentage of the commission and Drum takes its cut. The remainder of the sale goes to the business.
As the co-founders of small business loan platform Kabbage, Frohwein and Petralia have served millions of small businesses throughout the country. They say this will help those same businesses by replacing or supplementing traditional marketing spend and putting actual boots on the ground to share their products.
Drum will launch first in Atlanta and New York City, two markets Frohwein says were chosen intentionally because of their different demographics: New York City has a highly-concentrated population, while Atlanta is sprawling.
“We thought these two would give us a good set of results to see what works in both kinds of markets,” he says. They are currently recruiting Drummers and businesses to populate the app in both cities, planning for the Buyer (consumer-facing) app to launch next month.
Drum will be based in Atlanta and is currently hiring.