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This startup raised $20 million to help Uber and OpenTable find customers inside other apps

Button is betting big on contextual commerce.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Button, a New York City-based startup that is building an affiliate network for mobile apps, has raised $20 million in a new round of funding. The round was led by Norwest Venture Partners and brings Button’s total equity financing to $34 million.

Button, which was founded in 2014, helps publishers like Conde Nast integrate their apps with commerce apps like Uber and OpenTable so their readers can begin the booking process for a ride or a dinner reservation without leaving the publisher’s app. The content app then receives an affiliate fee if one of these people goes on to finish the booking inside of the Uber or OpenTable app. The technological bridge between the apps is known as deep linking.

Button is also betting on the idea of “contextual commerce,” whereby more and more transactions will start on content apps where the content or experience is contextually relevant. The startup also believes that its contextual commerce “buttons” can be an alternative to traditional banner ads on mobile phones, which can look even worse than on desktop computers.

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