You’re not expecting to see a caricature of Drake when completing a major brand’s survey. Yet, using pop culture and humor, Perksy has managed to gamify market research for companies like Pepsico and Nickelodeon with stunning success—users complete Persky surveys at 84% compared to the norm of 1% to 3%. While results from traditional consumer research surveys take anywhere from weeks to months to reach the client, Perksy delivers results as soon as a user completes a survey (known as a “stack” on the app). And these highly attentive users are a notoriously inattentive demographic: 13-to-38-year-olds.
That’s why Forbes 30 Under 30 Perksy founder and CEO Nadia Masri, who is 28 years old, just raised a $4 million seed round to continue innovating market research—incorporating in-store elements—and to build out her team of 14. The round was led by Bain Capital Ventures and joined by Founder Collective, Sinai Ventures, Torch Capital, MDC Ventures and Gingerbread.
Masri is proud that a female at each firm, with the exception of Sinai Ventures, sourced the deal. “The diversity makes all the difference when you’re a female founder,” she says from a conference room with an Albert Einstein poster in her West Elm-esque SoHo, New York, duplex office.
“Perksy has unprecedented engagement levels,” notes Sarah Smith, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures and the lead investor in round, who is particularly excited to support a founder like Masri. “To get behind a female CEO, who has the ambition to build a company that could be part of the Fortune 500, is incredible.”
In their first year on the market, Perksy has booked $1.3 million in revenue and grown 216% in the last three months with the biggest consumer brands as clients: Cirque Du Soleil, Pepsico, Nickelodeon and more. Perksy is among the 10 most popular apps in the Apple App Store in both Canada and the U.S.
“People love answering questions. It speaks to our human behavior. It’s how we learn about other people and understand the world,” says Masri. “We’re monetizing on that sentiment.”
Her next move: customers on the move—highly specific geofencing. Like this: A Persky user walks into a Persky client mattress store, the user receives a notification to answer questions about in-store experience in exchange for the company’s new pillow (free, of course), and, after they’ve slept with the pillow for a week, they’ll receive another Persky stack about the pillow for more rewards. It’s instant gratification for users and elevated consumer research for brands.
“I just want to be the Adobe Suite of market research tools; I want to be the Nielsen,” Masri says. Eventually, Masri hopes Persky’s geofencing will be powerful enough to reach users in a specific aisle of a grocery store.
Masri, who designed the app almost alone (with the experience of UI/UX design textbooks), is not tired. In fact, she can hardly sit still—bringing various team members into the conference room to chime in about Persky. “Money is money,” she says of her recent round. “It’s also important to think about the value investors have. I was very fixated on having people who could teach me so that I could learn faster than the company was growing.”
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