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Venture Capital News: Happy Returns Grabs $1.9M Seed Round

2016-04-05
SANTA MONICA, CA, Happy Returns today announced it has raised $1.9M in seed financing and launched its first Return Bar at Santa Monica Place.
Los Angeles-based Upfront Ventures led the investment round, with participation from Lowercase Capital and Maveron.

Happy Returns is a new service designed for shoppers to return products purchased online to in-person Return Bars for an immediate refund. Shoppers from participating retailers no longer need to secure a box, label and tape, wait in line at the post office, and check a credit card statement to confirm a refund. Instead, shoppers simply hand returns to a Returnista, who processes the return and credits the shopper in real time.

Dissatisfaction with returns affects a wide swath of online shoppers; a recent study by Marketing Sherpa found that offering an easy return process is one of the top ways for retailers to improve the shopping experience.

'We are transforming returns from a painful chore to an efficient and delightful experience that encourages shoppers to increase the scope and frequency of their online purchases,' said David Sobie, Co-Founder and CEO of Happy Returns.

By reducing shopper friction, Happy Returns promises to benefit retailers through increased customer consideration and satisfaction. Internal Happy Returns research indicates that 78% of shoppers are more likely to shop with an online retailer that offers in-person returns.

'Returns are the most underrated and impactful friction point in online commerce,' said Greg Bettinelli, partner at Upfront Ventures. 'Happy Returns removes this friction and allows retailers to deliver the desired 'buy online, return to store' experience without investing in physical stores and reverse logistics.'

Beyond increasing shopper consideration, Happy Returns reduces retailers' cost of returns by aggregating products for shipment and eliminating customer support calls inquiring about the status of returns.

A number of experienced retail founders and executives also participated in the financing, including: Andy Solomon (Sole Society), Brian Spaly (Trunk Club), Dennis Phelps (Institutional Venture Partners), Greg Fant (former Thumbtack), Jason Lehmbeck (Data Pop), Kara Weber (Brilliant Ventures), Rob Chesney (Trunk Club), and Rob Stevens (Matrix Partners).

The company's first Return Bar accepts Tradesy returns at Santa Monica Place daily from 10am to 9pm and is located on the second floor of the mall. Happy Returns plans to build a network of Return Bar locations throughout Los Angeles later this summer and nationwide later this year.
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