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The Opportunity in Opinion PowerReviews proves the value of filtered, aggregated customer feedback by closing a third round of funding.

By Gwen Moran

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Andy Chen cares about what other people think. He is the co-founder of, which provides product- and service-review platforms and social commerce solutions to retailers and brand marketers. When someone likes or dislikes something, Chen wants to know--and so do the companies that use his platform, including Staples, REI, and Toys "R" Us.

Chen and fellow founder Robert Chea came up with the idea of creating a review platform that companies could access in lieu of building, maintaining and moderating their own when they were working about 12 years ago on an online sporting goods retail site they co-founded. "We launched a customer-review feature on the site, and it was extremely popular," Chen says. "Customers liked it, and it was a very effective way for us to acquire customers."

He also saw the popularity and influence of reviews on sites such as Amazon and Zappos. So in 2005, the duo decided to create a company that would collect the review data and parse it several ways for the benefit of both customers and consumers. landed $7 million in Series A funding in December 2005 from Silicon Valley venture capital firms Menlo Ventures and Draper Richards, allowing the team to launch and begin building its infrastructure. One of PowerReviews' advantages is that it verifies many of its reviewers through a verified buyer process. This helps ensure that reviews aren't being flooded with biased accounts.

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