Bumped, a Portland marketing technology startup, on Thursday said it raised $14.1 million in its first round of funding, adding $11.5 million to backing it announced in April when the company launched.
Bumped’s investment is a big initial round by Portland’s modest standards and instantly makes it one of the city’s best-capitalized new tech companies.
Entrepreneur David Nelsen, who previously started – and sold – online gift card company Giftango, said Tuesday’s investment enables the company to hire engineering and sales personnel, adding a half-dozen employees to the 14 working for Bumped.
The company is taking a novel approach to customer loyalty programs, offering stock in publicly traded companies to shoppers who buy that company’s products.
“You choose where to spend your money every day, and brands you care about are better for your support,” Nelson wrote in an announcement of Thursday’s funding. “Through ownership, Bumped wants to turn those transactions into a lasting relationship.”
The new investment comes from Canaan Partners, which has offices in the Bay Area and the East Coast. Prior Bumped investors Peninsula Ventures, Commerce Ventures, and the Oregon Venture Fund also participated.
Bumped is one of Oregon’s few technology startups focused on consumers, a market segment that has produced many of the biggest tech businesses.
It has yet to test shoppers’ appetite for stock, though. It’s a potentially complex business, and some shoppers might not welcome, for example, shares in the Coca-Cola Co. as a reward for buying a juice from Coke’s Odwalla brand.
Still, Bumped’s substantial initial funding round indicates investors are intrigued in Nelsen’s latest venture.
It’s one of a string of investments over the past two weeks that suggests renewed interest in Oregon innovation from the venture community. Those include: