Boston-based Nift raises $16.5M to help local businesses combat Amazon

April 3, 2018

Boston-based Nift Networks Inc. has raised $16.5 million to expand its new type of customer discount program — one that aims to help local businesses help each other — to cities around the country.

The Series A round was led by Colorado-based Foundry Group, with participation from local firms Spark Capital and Accomplice. Nift previously raised $3 million from Spark Capital, Accomplice and Converge in May 2016.

After adding more than 2,000 local businesses, mostly in Boston, to its network, Nift plans to roll out its program to five more cities within the next year or so. Within the same time period, the startup wants to expand its team from about 30 employees to about 120.

The name Nift is a combination of the words "neighborhood" and "gift." The company aims to help local merchants attract valuable new customers using a combination of simple gift cards and an artificially intelligent matching algorithm.

“We are an AI platform that helps local businesses battle against giants like Amazon,” said founder and CEO Elery Pfeffer. "We do that by getting the merchants to form a network to help each other out."

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