Gravy is proud to announce that we have secured $4.5 million in Series A funding for our seamless failed payment recovery powered by people and amplified by technology.
This latest funding round, — Gravy’s first foray on institutional money — was led by Birmingham-based Arlington Family Partners, a firm that has previously worked with our co-founders, CEO Casey Graham and Chief of Staff, Renee Weber. The same family office managed their earnings from the prior acquisition of their previous business -The Rocket Company. The Rocket Company is a coaching and resource provider for churches which exited to Ministry Brands, a private equity group.
Prior to the exit, Casey says that they spent two years fixing [the problem of failed payments] in The Rocket Company and created a tech-enabled solution where they had actual human beings to win back failed payments for subscriptions and reduce customer churn. And by doing that, they got a 5x offer higher than the initial offer for the exit because they fixed the failed payment problem.
At first, he thought that this is a standard business procedure for subscription businesses, only to discover that this is not the case. Other companies use “dunning” heavily, an automated process that demands payment through impersonal communications to address the problem. Unfortunately, this process would only recoup about 15% to 20% of the failed payments.
Then came the realization that these tech-only solutions don’t work as well because customers often dismiss automated emails from companies. One thing that they do respond to, however, is personal outreach, where they feel valued and appreciated. For many new and fast-growing businesses, it’s a Catch 22 situation, where, as much as they would like to focus on making this happen for their customers to increase their long-term value, they can’t afford to implement it as they’re investing more heavily in growth and scale.
Our white labeled payment recovery solution fixes this problem without having to resort to automated dunning or an expensive in-house solution. Companies contract with Gravy on a subscription basis by paying a flat fee, tiered based upon transaction volume creating a win-win solution for both Gravy, the company, and their customers.
“When we’re onboarding [a client], we create an empathetic script of three different responses or opportunities for us to negotiate with the customer to win that customer back,” Casey explains. Getting the customers back works because of the added human component. People naturally respond because they know when they’re talking to a real person and not an automated script, he says.
Our clients comes from both the B2B space, — like B2B content subscriptions or tech education and certification, for example — or in the B2C space. We have a number of personalized subscription box services (which offer to ship a box of products to a customer’s home) and B2C education that sell courses online. Since our founding in 2017, Gravy has helped over 300 clients decrease their churn rate. These businesses may be as small as $200,000-$250,000 in revenue up to $100 million in annual revenue from subscriptions.
Gravy's solution is able to recoup as much as 80% of the failed payments. To date, we are on track to return $1 Billion in failed payments by 2023. Gravy has processed over 6 Million failed payments and has won back $175 Million in failed payment subscriptions. Gravy is also expected to pass $1 Million in Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) this year.
The new funding will help Gravy expand its team of 83 to about 150 by year-end, expand its client acquisition efforts, and further invest in its product. Longer-term, Casey believes Gravy could also help businesses with other needs, including voluntary churn, for starters, and even customer service and customer success in the future.