Built on a bootstrap approach, referral marketing tech firm Mention Me has closed a $7m Series A investment round from Eight Roads Ventures.

It plans to use the funds to power better marketing around the world, driving its work helping businesses capitalise on their customers’ trust.

The company has been built to be a profitable, bootstrapped business, introducing nearly one million new customers and growing its client list from 20 to 300 in the past three years.

This new funding from Eight Roads Ventures will unlock the next phase of growth for the company and its clients, while also expanding its team.

Mention Me’s platform provides the technology to create, AB test, optimise and measure referral campaigns, bringing the performance of top brands within reach. Coupled with its tech, the company also offers a hands-on Client Success service.

Its team coaches clients on which AB tests to run, how to design and write copy for referral, which rewards to choose and how to configure the under-the-hood elements of their referral schemes.

It currently operates referral programmes in 16 languages, and plans to use this funding to fuel growth in the UK and expand its footprint internationally.

“Eight Roads are the perfect partner for the next stage of our journey, with their in-house expertise and global network,” says Mention Me CEO Andy Cockburn.

“We’re incredibly proud to have built Mention Me to be a profitable, fast growing business with a fantastic team over the last five years.

“We’re excited to now be at a point where the next phase of growth requires investment to really unlock the potential.”

For the first two years the company was made up of a team of two founders proving product-market fit with small group of clients.

It then spent three years adding to the team, keeping a watchful eye on cash flow and ramping up its product and service to put itself in the best possible position to raise funds now.

The young company has now grown organically to a team of almost 50 people in five years and is looking to substantially increase the size of the team this year, more than doubling the size of its client success, sales and technology teams.

“Referral programmes have emerged as a key channel in the emerging world of Trust Marketing,” says Cockburn.

“Trust marketing encourages businesses to actively build up trust with their customers and use it to create long-term value.

“Looking to the future, we know that the principle which makes referral so powerful - the trust built on a personal connection - can be used to enhance marketing more generally too.”