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Why We Invested in Reactiv




Reach out to Brett Calhoun, General Partner at Redbud VC, at brett@redbud.vc to learn about Redbud, and subscribe to our newsletter here


Reactiv is an automated mobile app development platform for brands and developers that removes the friction involved in building, launching, and managing an app with an end-to-end AI-powered tool.

In e-commerce, customer acquisition and retention are everything, but navigating both is becoming increasingly complex. For any brand, acquiring new customers costs 5x-8x more than keeping existing customers. First-time purchases are no longer as profitable as they once were; existing customers will likely spend 67% more on average than new customers. Not only are conversions lacking, but reaching customers in the first place is also more challenging than ever. Privacy changes have limited the effectiveness of traditional advertising channels such as ads, email, SMS, and push notifications. For example, the average opt-in rate for push notifications across Android and iOS devices is 67.5%, as consumers are more cautious about opting in for any marketing outreach. 


So, how do the best e-commerce brands navigate these challenges and continue to acquire and retain customers? Apps. Many top-performing brands invest heavily in custom-built apps. Brand apps are powerful tools for sending push notifications, retaining customers, collecting first-party data, and fostering genuine community engagement. The elephant in the room is that apps have some large downsides: 


  • Custom-built apps can take 1-6 months to launch.

  • Custom-built apps are expensive, and businesses spend hours weekly rebuilding content from their website into their app. 

  • On average, 10-20% of customers download a brand app. 

  • Downloading an app is a high-friction action for consumers, preventing brands from acquiring, reaching, and retaining consumers effectively. In addition, maintaining an app can take an additional team of engineers and marketers.


Enter Reactiv - an automated mobile app development platform for brands and developers that removes the friction in building, launching, and managing an app with an end-to-end AI-powered tool. Reactiv allows brands to build a native app that the brand's most loyal customers will use. At the same time, Reactiv builds App Clips that enhance user convenience and ensure a seamless and immediate app experience for those that do not want to download an app. Gone are long timelines to launch a custom-built app, constantly updating products on both the website & app, and worrying if consumers will even download it. 


Reactiv empowers brands to maximize app installs through  App Clips, which are integrated into every ad click. Additionally, Reactiv enables businesses to send push notifications to customers for up to 8 hours without requiring an opt-in, solving the traditional hurdle of getting consumers to opt in. With features like the ability to open App Clips anywhere via ads, links, messages, QR codes, or NFC tags, Reactiv offers a comprehensive solution that combines ease of use, cost-effectiveness, and unparalleled functionality.


The Reactiv team's mission is to make mobile web shopping irrelevant by providing brands with a platform to build great apps while reducing the friction of user downloads. The value that in-app experiences provide is undeniable. Most brands' in-app revenue ranges from 10% to upwards of 50%. For example, 72% of Sheins’s sales are in-app, with Fashion Nova, American Eagle, and Hollister sitting around 50%, and brands with large brick-and-mortar presences like Zara and H&M are around 25%. Approximately 10-20% of a brand's customers will download an app, and that segment will make up 30-40% of a brand's total revenue because of those app metrics: 5x higher conversion, 25% higher LTV, and 8x more time spent in-app. 


The Reactiv team has a dense network to hack early distribution, scaled to product and revenue in six months, hired a fourteen-person team, and has strong domain experience at tangential companies or competitors. Ross, Zack, and Michael have strong technical skills, sales, articulation, fundraising, and hustle. They bring unmatched expertise and over a decade of experience crafting solutions, selling to, and cultivating partnerships with global e-commerce giants.


In our first call with the Reactiv team, we asked two of the founders, Ross and Zack, “What is your unique view on e-commerce? What do you think the future of the market looks like?” Ross responded without hesitation, “When businesses think about how to provide this experience to their customers over the next decade,” he said, “it needs to be point blank Reactiv.” 

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