In today’s age where people depend more than ever on online shopping and internet influencers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to discern which products are actually worth buying due to a rise in inauthentic reviews. On a mission to provide shoppers with the confidence they need to make a solid investment with their next online purchase, The Desire Company offers a library of advice from industry professionals who use the products themselves and can vouch for their value.
Based in Atlanta, The Desire Company is a media and content platform where experts and professionals across a range of industries — from fitness and wellness to entertainment and culinary — can offer their personal advice concerning particular consumer products. Its platform features product reviews, how-to videos and classes as well as articles by professionals looking to share their knowledge. The startup just raised $8 million in Series A funding co-led by Valor Equity Partners and Cleveland Avenue.
“Trust in social influencers has declined and the overwhelming problem of fake reviews continues to be more and more prevalent,” Eric Sheinkop, co-founder and CEO of The Desire Company, told Built In via email. “The Desire Company tackles this problem by providing professional, accurate information so shoppers can make more confident purchase decisions and find the right products for their particular needs.”
This model has proven so successful thus far that the company encountered the need to build a production studio to keep up with user demand for its content. In addition to consumers, The Desire Company has garnered attention from retailers interested in partnerships. Retailers and brands are more interested in partnering with people who can actually inform their shoppers, rather than paying influencers to read from talking points, according to Sheinkop.
“As much as e-commerce and the retail industry have evolved over the years, reviews — which directly drive sales — are still archaic and outdated. No one has presented an effective and sustainable solution until now, and we’re thrilled that brands and retailers have been so quick to adopt our offerings,” Sheinkop said.
With its Series A, The Desire Company is investing in opening a new studio in Chicago to ramp up its production capabilities, as well as fueling retailer partnerships. The 15-person startup is planning to hire “aggressively” in Q1 of next year, aiming to expand its team in Atlanta, Chicago and LA across roles in sales, marketing and tech.