We spoke with Jake Kiser, Hatch’s Chief Revenue Officer, about what that means for the company internally – and its impact in the near term. This is the transcript of that conversation (edited for clarity). See the full interview below.
TWM: I’m here with Jake Kiser from Hatch Loyalty. We heard yesterday about some big news, but thought it’d be better to hear it directly from the horse’s mouth, so to speak -about what the big news is, and what you think impact that’s going to be on your business. So I won’t steal your thunder but tell us what happened. What was announced yesterday?
Jake Kiser: So yesterday we actually announced the completion of the sale of our Belly business line. As you may know or may not know Hatch was borne out of a company called Belly, a small business loyalty solution that, at its peak was in around 10,000 small businesses across the U.S. But as a product had gotten to point that we were maintaining more than growing & innovating, and we had made it priority to find a buyer for those assets and for that product line that could really invest in it and take it to that next level that we were frankly, not focused on any longer.
And yesterday we completed that sale to Mobivity, a publicly held company that focuses quite a bit in the QSR space and in the physical retail space, with their own list of clients already, and integrating the Belly solution.
TWM: So now that Hatch is fully Hatch and not Belly, tell us what that means for the company. I’m also interested in what, from where you sit, think that means to your broader business for the upcoming couple years.
Jake Kiser: This really is the final step in this transformation that we set out on two years ago as we took the business over from the founder, we started to look at where we felt we could really win and add value and what sort of technology company we wanted to be and there was lot of things that needed to happen in order to make that a possibility. Whether it’s winning new business, whether it’s building parts of the technology, whether it’s hiring the right people and bringing the team together around a mission and starting to execute against those things. I think this was a big piece of that and so finalizing the sale of the assets and being able to really truly focus the entire company on one product which is Hatch – that was really the thing we accomplished yesterday.
I think what that means moving forward is that we now have a team that is solely focused on building the best customer activation platform for enterprise retail clients. Our enterprise partners can build some very meaningful customer loyalty / customer engagement / customer activation programs. And having a single focus is really the only way we feel like we can continue to move forward in the space. And so we’re free to do that now and that’s an exciting place for us be today versus where we were yesterday.
TWM: So you guys marked some early wins – some big wins earlier this year in the space while you were still part of the same enterprise, so you’re effectively crossing the starting line with a little bit of momentum. If you look out a year or so, if that’s a reasonable window, where do you see Hatch? What do you see changing now that Hatch is its own entity?
Jake Kiser: I think more than anything. I want it to be known both internally and externally that we now are capable of being able to change – we’re capable and unencumbered by anything other than our enterprise clients and our enterprise platform and we are going to use those as our true north.
We’re no longer going to be tied to running two different businesses. And that really is the exciting thing for us. As we think about making investments and allocating resources, we’re doing so with a singular.
It’s expanding the use of the platform and its frankly unearthing things that we probably didn’t think about, in being interesting, important or doable. But like we’ve learned in the (past) couple years, show up and show quickly. I believe we’ve positioned ourselves in a way that we can now execute against what the market’s going to want. I believe we’ve positioned ourselves in a way that differentiates us against a lot of our competitors and that we’re going be agile and able to move very quickly because this is all we’re focused on. That’s really interesting and really exciting.
TWM: So you get a couple of seconds for shameless plug. We’ve talked about the big news, but there may be people out who don’t really know what Hatch is. So, who are you? And what you doing out there?
Jake Kiser: Hatch is a customer activation engine designed to connect enterprise retailers to their customers in the moments matter most. We want to give a retailer the ability to collect and analyze customer data – your own customer data – and give you the tools to be able to leverage that data in a way that drives the outcome of loyalty. And we do that through Partners. And we do it through Retailer’s themselves.
We position ourselves to work in a number of scenarios whether we’re the base layer technology, whether we’re add-on to something that’s there. We feel like we should be agile and nimble enough to be able to work with any retailer that is looking to connect with their customer and change their customer behavior for the betterment of both the customer and the retailer in the long run. That’s that’s really exciting.
TWM: We’re going be paying particular attention to what Hatch is doing. So congratulations on the big announcement. Thanks for spending some time with us.
Jake Kiser: Sounds good. Thank you for having me.