Venture-backed Sampler obtains $2 million in non-dilutive funding from BDC Capital
TORONTO, June 20, 2022 – Sampler, the Toronto-based technology company that’s become a global leader in data-driven product trial, has received 2 million dollars in non-dilutive funding from BDC Capital’s Growth & Transition Capital division. The new funds allow Sampler to scale functions across the organization to service increased demand for its solution.
The company was founded by Marie Chevrier Schwartz in 2013 and is backed by a strong consortium of institutional venture capital and strategic investors, including BDC Capital’s Women in Technology Venture Fund, which have collectively injected more than 10 million dollars to date over multiple rounds.
Sampler merges the strengths of product sampling with the power of data to enable brands to build data-driven product experiences. It all starts with a free product trial delivered directly to a consumer’s home, then continues with the collection of feedback and an engaging post-sampling journey that drives a clear path to purchase. Sampler has 80 million+ data points on millions of consumers in North America’s fastest-growing community of high intent, active shoppers online, with the ability to target across 650+ audience segments. The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to accelerating the appeal for Sampler’s omnichannel offering. Firstly, retailers initially eliminating in-store demos created change that has endured, meanwhile consumer shopping behaviours have drastically changed—making a data-driven approach easier for manufacturers to build their brands across a growing number of shopping mediums.
Sampler today makes its platform available to companies operating in 27 countries. It has developed relationships with some of the largest and best-known consumer packaged goods companies in the world, such as Unilever, L’Oréal and Henkel. Most recently, Sampler also launched an offering for retailers which has attracted US retailers like Kroger to the platform.
Most of the new funds from BDC Capital have been earmarked for new hires in a wide range of company roles to support Sampler’s expansion strategy, with another portion intended for growing Sampler’s systems infrastructure. To best meet Sampler’s particular needs and profile, the funds were disbursed all at once through a patient quasi-equity loan customized with highly personalized covenants. Under this type of financing, principal payments are deferred until maturity and a meaningful portion of the returns are back-ended to ensure more cash stays in the business during the loan’s period to be used for further growth.
“It has been such a pleasure to prepare for Sampler’s next phase of growth with the team at BDC Capital,” said Sampler CEO and Founder Marie Chevrier. “The team quickly became a strategic partner in the elaboration of Sampler’s plans. Since our first meeting, they took the opportunity to get a deep understanding of our business and together we’ve come up with a financing solution that will grow effectively with our business. In fact, the investment will enable us to scale our operations in-line with an accelerated pace of market adoption for data-driven trial.”
This transaction was led by Rob Dennison, Director, Growth & Transition Capital at BDC Capital in Toronto. “Sampler invented a much better way to conduct product sampling that delivers deep consumer insights and data to track ROI,” affirms Dennison. “When coupled with management’s clear vision, cohesiveness and proven ability to execute, there is little doubt that Sampler’s future continues to shine very brightly.”
Sampler is the leader in data-driven product trial. The platform helps brands deliver samples online and gather the insights they need to build one-to-one relationships with consumers. Unlike traditional sampling where brands are often found handing out samples at random, Sampler allows brands to target, track, and measure the sampling program from start to finish. Sampler has worked with over 950 brands worldwide including some of the world’s most trusted names in CPG like Unilever, L’Oréal, and Henkel. Sampler also works with United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), North America’s largest publicly traded grocery distributor.
About BDC Capital
BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC, the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs. With over $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country’s most innovative firms. It offers businesses a full spectrum of capital, from seed investments to growth equity, supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who have the ambition to stand out on the world stage. Visit bdc.ca/capital.