Nift, a Boston, MA-based provider of an AI powered platform for main street merchants to join forces, raised $16.5M in Series A funding.
Backers included Spark Capital, Foundry Group and Accomplice.
The company intends to use the new capital to expand nationally, with up to five new markets, and increase its team 400% over the next 12 months.
Led by Elery Pfeffer, founder and CEO, Nift provides small businesses with a free machine learning platform that matches the right neighborhood gift to the right customer in seconds. It starts working with a neighborhood gift that a merchant gives a loyal customer – this is a physical or virtual card with a code on the back. The customer then inputs that code on Nift’s website. After the customer answers a few questions, algorithms provide a choice between one of two free gifts from other local merchants. Nifts introduce best customers to other local businesses, and in return, other neighborhood businesses give Nifts to their best customers, introducing them to merchants.
Free gifts can immediately be spent as cash in-store, creating a win-win for everyone in the community.
The platform has been developed over three years by data scientists from MIT, including Chief Scientist, David Parkes, who is the co-director of Harvard’s Data Science Initiative. The rest of the executive team is comprised of experts from companies like TripAdvisor and Nokia, with over 100 years of combined experience in brand building and digital consumer experience.