Pluspoint’s Reputation Management Nabs USD 400K for Further Geographic Expansion and Deploying More AI

  • Pluspoint, the reputation management startup with Ukrainian founders, attracts an investment round of USD 400K
  • The B2B SaaS allows clients to post original user testimonials automatically and handle possible negative feedback more efficiently
  • The investment will be used on further geographic expansions and AI-centered product development

This September, Ukrainian-born reputations management service Pluspoint announced a USD 400K round of investment. The investment came from the company’s loyal partner, Ukrainian startup studio and venture capital firm Pragmatech.

The Beginnings

Sergey Shanin, Co-Founder and CEO at Pluspoint

Sergey Shanin and his team started Pluspoint in 2021 when he realized how heavily his previous ventures depended on online reviews to attract new customers. The inspiration was further bolstered by the notable evolution and success of similar platforms internationally, confirming our belief that there was a genuine demand and potential for such a solution.

Pluspoint itself began in partnership with the startup studio, Pragmatech. Mr Shanin admits that they were instrumental in conducting market research, CusDev interviews, and shaping the first iteration of the product.

The product developed into a helpful toolkit for local businesses that helps them bring clients in, turn them into customers, and keep them coming back. After receiving a service or purchasing a product, customers are prompted to review their interaction experience with a company or platform. Positive feedback is automatically published on popular review platforms, while negative reviews or complaints are reported to business representatives or the support team, complete with necessary details to ensure swift response and resolve the issue.

‘We allow customers to decide where they want to publish their review and make the process seamless for them. Thus, we ensure authenticity and avoid potential SEO issues that could arise from duplicate content,’ Mr Shanin adds.

The Necessary Geographic Expansion

Initially, Pluspoint began operating in the Ukrainian market. But – in February 2022, following Russia’s full-on offensive against Ukraine, Google revoked the ability to create new posts and reviews on the Ukrainian territory, thus disabling the service.

Not to abandon the ready technology, the team chose to shift its geographic focus. ‘When we decide where to go, we look at a few things. First, we check how big the market is and how locals use the internet and digital tools. We also make sure our product can work well in the local language. And of course, we see who our competitors are,’ Mr Shanin shares.

‘We often start with small pilot projects to test the waters. This helps us evaluate if a new market is attractive and if our product can truly make a positive impact there. If the pilot project shows promise, we then proceed with more extensive activities like marketing in the local language, adapting our product to fit the local needs, and finding the right people to work with us in that new market,’ the co-founder adds.

Consequently, Pluspoint ended up localized for Portuguese and Spanish-speaking markets and offers integrations with over 8,000 services. These aren’t only online review platforms, but they also include CRM, ERP, BI, analytics, and email marketing services. Pluspoints’s clientele in both Europe and LatAm includes such household names as Lycamobile, Papel Craft, and more.

The company plans to use as much as 70% of the new investment on expanding into new geographies.

SEO and AI

Igor Sokolov, Venture Partner at Pragmatech

Naturally, the AI craze didn’t pass by the reputation management and SEO. ‘SEO is undergoing a significant transformation with the widespread adoption of generative AI tools like Google Bard and ChatGPT, which have the capability to analyze diverse data sources besides website content more effectively and provide precise responses,’ Mr Shanin states.

For instance, Google’s recently unveiled Search Generative Experience showcases this shift. Users can now ask complex questions, such as finding the best restaurant for specific preferences, and receive answers primarily based on customer reviews.

According to the CEO, this indicates that online reviews are becoming more influential, potentially overshadowing traditional SEO practices. AI is playing a pivotal role in this shift by making search results more relevant and user-focused, emphasizing the importance of customer feedback in online visibility and reputation.

Generative AI for Reputation Management

As such, Pluspoint will dedicate a significant portion of the newly raised investment on product development. Mr Shanin shares his excitement about the potential of AI generative models for reputation management.

‘These advanced tools open up several opportunities for us at Pluspoint. One of the areas we’re exploring is leveraging these AI capabilities for SEO optimization on various online catalogs and directories. This means we can help businesses improve their online visibility and ranking in search results.’

Additionally, the company works on using LLM to assist its users in handling customer conversations more effectively and engagingly.

Pragmatech’s venture partner Igor Sokolov is excited that his firm is part of Pluspoints ambitious journey in its growth stage. ‘As AI reshapes SEO, offline businesses will need to systematically manage reviews and customer experience. Pluspoint is one of the pioneers in this emerging multi-billion-dollar market. Currently, there is no clear leader, and we firmly believe that a team from Ukraine can lead the way,’ Mr Sokolov points out.


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